TUSK: Task-Agnostic Unsupervised Keypoints

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yuhe Jin, Weiwei Sun, Jan Hosang, Eduard Trulls, Kwang Moo Yi


Existing unsupervised methods for keypoint learning rely heavily on the assumption that a specific keypoint type (e.g. elbow, digit, abstract geometric shape) appears only once in an image. This greatly limits their applicability, as each instance must be isolated before applying the method—an issue that is never discussed or evaluated. We thus propose a novel method to learn Task-agnostic, UnSupervised Keypoints (TUSK) which can deal with multiple instances. To achieve this, instead of the commonly-used strategy of detecting multiple heatmaps, each dedicated to a specific keypoint type, we use a single heatmap for detection, and enable unsupervised learning of keypoint types through clustering. Specifically, we encode semantics into the keypoints by teaching them to reconstruct images from a sparse set of keypoints and their descriptors, where the descriptors are forced to form distinct clusters in feature space around learned prototypes. This makes our approach amenable to a wider range of tasks than any previous unsupervised keypoint method: we show experiments on multiple-instance detection and classification, object discovery, and landmark detection—all unsupervised—with performance on par with the state of the art, while also being able to deal with multiple instances.