Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)
Zongxin Yang, Yunchao Wei, Yi Yang
This paper investigates how to realize better and more efficient embedding learning to tackle the semi-supervised video object segmentation under challenging multi-object scenarios. The state-of-the-art methods learn to decode features with a single positive object and thus have to match and segment each target separately under multi-object scenarios, consuming multiple times computing resources. To solve the problem, we propose an Associating Objects with Transformers (AOT) approach to match and decode multiple objects uniformly. In detail, AOT employs an identification mechanism to associate multiple targets into the same high-dimensional embedding space. Thus, we can simultaneously process multiple objects' matching and segmentation decoding as efficiently as processing a single object. For sufficiently modeling multi-object association, a Long Short-Term Transformer is designed for constructing hierarchical matching and propagation. We conduct extensive experiments on both multi-object and single-object benchmarks to examine AOT variant networks with different complexities. Particularly, our R50-AOT-L outperforms all the state-of-the-art competitors on three popular benchmarks, i.e., YouTube-VOS (84.1% J&F), DAVIS 2017 (84.9%), and DAVIS 2016 (91.1%), while keeping more than 3X faster multi-object run-time. Meanwhile, our AOT-T can maintain real-time multi-object speed on the above benchmarks. Based on AOT, we ranked 1st in the 3rd Large-scale VOS Challenge.