Where are the blobs: Counting by Localization with Point Supervision

Issam H. Laradji, Negar Rostamzadeh, Pedro O. Pinheiro, David Vazquez, Mark Schmidt; Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2018, pp. 547-562


Object counting is an important task in computer vision due to its growing demand in applications such as surveillance, traffic monitoring, and counting everyday objects. State-of-the-art methods use regression-based optimization where they explicitly learn to count the objects of interest. These often perform better than detection-based methods that need to learn the more difficult task of predicting the location, size, and shape of each object. However, we propose a detection-based method that does not need to estimate the size and shape of the objects and that outperforms regression-based methods. Our contributions are three-fold: (1) we propose a novel loss function that encourages the network to output a single blob per object instance using point-level annotations only; (2) we design two methods for splitting large predicted blobs between object instances; and (3) we show that our method achieves new state-of-the-art results on several challenging datasets including the Pascal VOC and the Penguins dataset. Our method even outperforms those that use stronger supervision such as depth features, multi-point annotations, and bounding-box labels.

Related Material

author = {Laradji, Issam H. and Rostamzadeh, Negar and Pinheiro, Pedro O. and Vazquez, David and Schmidt, Mark},
title = {Where are the blobs: Counting by Localization with Point Supervision},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV)},
month = {September},
year = {2018}