Learning from weak and noisy labels for semantic segmentation

Z. Lu, Z. Fu, T. Xiang, P. Han, L. Wang, X. Gao
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (TPAMI), (2016)

Learning from weak and noisy labels for semantic segmentation


Semantic segmentation, weakly supervised learning, label noise reduction, sparse learning


​A weakly supervised semantic segmentation (WSSS) method aims to learn a segmentation model from weak (image-level) as opposed to strong (pixel-level) labels. By avoiding the tedious pixel-level annotation process, it can exploit the unlimited supply of user-tagged images from media-sharing sites such as Flickr for large scale applications. However, these 'free' tags/labels are often noisy and few existing works address the problem of learning with both weak and noisy labels. In this work, we cast the WSSS problem into a label noise reduction problem. Specifically, after segmenting each image into a set of superpixels, the weak and potentially noisy image-level labels are propagated to the superpixel level resulting in highly noisy labels; the key to semantic segmentation is thus to identify and correct the superpixel noisy labels. To this end, a novel L1-optimisation based sparse learning model is formulated to directly and explicitly detect noisy labels. To solve the L1-optimisation problem, we further develop an efficient learning algorithm by introducing an intermediate labelling variable. Extensive experiments on three benchmark datasets show that our method yields state-of-the-art results given noise-free labels, whilst significantly outperforming the existing methods when the weak labels are also noisy.


DOI: 10.1109/TPAMI.2016.2552172


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