Convolutional Random Walk Networks for Semantic Image Segmentation

Gedas Bertasius, Lorenzo Torresani, Stella X. Yu, Jianbo Shi; Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2017, pp. 858-866


Most current semantic segmentation methods rely on fully convolutional networks (FCNs). However, their use of large receptive fields and many pooling layers cause low spatial resolution inside the deep layers. This leads to predictions with poor localization around the boundaries. Prior work has attempted to address this issue by post-processing predictions with CRFs or MRFs. But such models often fail to capture semantic relationships between objects, which causes spatially disjoint predictions. To overcome these problems, recent methods integrated CRFs or MRFs into an FCN framework. The downside of these new models is that they have much higher complexity than traditional FCNs, which renders training and testing more challenging. In this work we introduce a simple, yet effective Convolutional Random Walk Network (RWN) that addresses the issues of poor boundary localization and spatially fragmented predictions with very little increase in model complexity. Our proposed RWN jointly optimizes the objectives of pixelwise affinity and semantic segmentation. It combines these two objectives via a novel random walk layer that enforces consistent spatial grouping in the deep layers of the network. Our RWN is implemented using standard convolution and matrix multiplication. This allows an easy integration into existing FCN frameworks and it enables end-to-end training of the whole network via standard back-propagation. Our implementation of RWN requires just 131 additional parameters compared to the traditional FCNs, and yet it consistently produces an improvement over the FCNs on semantic segmentation and scene labeling.

Related Material

[pdf] [poster]
author = {Bertasius, Gedas and Torresani, Lorenzo and Yu, Stella X. and Shi, Jianbo},
title = {Convolutional Random Walk Networks for Semantic Image Segmentation},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {July},
year = {2017}