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Unsupervised Object Class Discovery via Saliency-Guided Multiple Class Learning

By: Chang, E.; Xu, Y.; Wu, J.; Zhu, J.; Tu, Z.;

2015 / IEEE


This item from - IEEE Transaction - Computing and Processing - In this paper, we tackle the problem of common object (multiple classes) discovery from a set of input images, where we assume the presence of one object class in each image. This problem is, loosely speaking, unsupervised since we do not know a priori about the object type, location, and scale in each image. We observe that the general task of object class discovery in a fully unsupervised manner is intrinsically ambiguous; here we adopt saliency detection to propose candidate image windows/patches to turn an unsupervised learning problem into a weakly-supervised learning problem. In the paper, we propose an algorithm for simultaneously localizing objects and discovering object classes via bottom-up (saliency-guided) multiple class learning (bMCL). Our contributions are three-fold: (1) we adopt saliency detection to convert unsupervised learning into multiple instance learning, formulated as bottom-up multiple class learning (bMCL); (2) we propose an integrated framework that simultaneously performs object localization, object class discovery, and object detector training; (3) we demonstrate that our framework yields significant improvements over existing methods for multi-class object discovery and possess evident advantages over competing methods in computer vision. In addition, although saliency detection has recently attracted much attention, its practical usage for high-level vision tasks has yet to be justified. Our method validates the usefulness of saliency detection to output “noisy input” for a top-down method to extract common patterns.