Wasserstein Distances for Stereo Disparity Estimation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Divyansh Garg, Yan Wang, Bharath Hariharan, Mark Campbell, Kilian Q. Weinberger, Wei-Lun Chao


Existing approaches to depth or disparity estimation output a distribution over a set of pre-defined discrete values. This leads to inaccurate results when the true depth or disparity does not match any of these values. The fact that this distribution is usually learned indirectly through a regression loss causes further problems in ambiguous regions around object boundaries. We address these issues using a new neural network architecture that is capable of outputting arbitrary depth values, and a new loss function that is derived from the Wasserstein distance between the true and the predicted distributions. We validate our approach on a variety of tasks, including stereo disparity and depth estimation, and the downstream 3D object detection. Our approach drastically reduces the error in ambiguous regions, especially around object boundaries that greatly affect the localization of objects in 3D, achieving the state-of-the-art in 3D object detection for autonomous driving.