Data-Driven Neuron Allocation for Scale Aggregation Networks

Yi Li, Zhanghui Kuang, Yimin Chen, Wayne Zhang; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2019, pp. 11526-11534


Successful visual recognition networks benefit from aggregating information spanning from a wide range of scales. Previous research has investigated information fusion of connected layers or multiple branches in a block, seeking to strengthen the power of multi-scale representations. Despite their great successes, existing practices often allocate the neurons for each scale manually, and keep the same ratio in all aggregation blocks of an entire network, rendering suboptimal performance. In this paper, we propose to learn the neuron allocation for aggregating multi-scale information in different building blocks of a deep network. The most informative output neurons in each block are preserved while others are discarded, and thus neurons for multiple scales are competitively and adaptively allocated. Our scale aggregation network (ScaleNet) is constructed by repeating a scale aggregation (SA) block that concatenates feature maps at a wide range of scales. Feature maps for each scale are generated by a stack of downsampling, convolution and upsampling operations. The data-driven neuron allocation and SA block achieve strong representational power at the cost of considerably low computational complexity. The proposed ScaleNet, by replacing all 3x3 convolutions in ResNet with our SA blocks, achieves better performance than ResNet and its outstanding variants like ResNeXt and SE-ResNet, in the same computational complexity. On ImageNet classification, ScaleNets absolutely reduce the top-1 error rate of ResNets by 1.12 (101 layers) and 1.82 (50 layers). On COCO object detection, ScaleNets absolutely improve the mAP with backbone of ResNets by 3.6 and 4.6 on Faster-RCNN, respectively. Code and models are released on

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author = {Li, Yi and Kuang, Zhanghui and Chen, Yimin and Zhang, Wayne},
title = {Data-Driven Neuron Allocation for Scale Aggregation Networks},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2019}