Optimizing Average Precision using Weakly Supervised Data

Aseem Behl, C. V. Jawahar, M. Pawan Kumar; Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2014, pp. 1011-1018


The performance of binary classification tasks, such as action classification and object detection, is often measured in terms of the average precision (AP). Yet it is common practice in computer vision to employ the support vector machine (SVM) classifier, which optimizes a surrogate 0-1 loss. The popularity of SVM can be attributed to its empirical performance. Specifically, in fully supervised settings, SVM tends to provide similar accuracy to the AP-SVM classifier, which directly optimizes an AP-based loss. However, we hypothesize that in the significantly more challenging and practically useful setting of weakly supervised learning, it becomes crucial to optimize the right accuracy measure. In order to test this hypothesis, we propose a novel latent AP-SVM that minimizes a carefully designed upper bound on the AP-based loss function over weakly supervised samples. Using publicly available datasets, we demonstrate the advantage of our approach over standard loss-based binary classifiers on two challenging problems: action classification and character recognition.

Related Material

author = {Behl, Aseem and Jawahar, C. V. and Pawan Kumar, M.},
title = {Optimizing Average Precision using Weakly Supervised Data},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2014}