Objectness-Guided Open Set Visual Search and Closed Set Detection

by   Nathan Drenkow, et al.

Searching for small objects in large images is currently challenging for deep learning systems, but is a task with numerous applications including remote sensing and medical imaging. Thorough scanning of very large images is computationally expensive, particularly at resolutions sufficient to capture small objects. The smaller an object of interest, the more likely it is to be obscured by clutter or otherwise deemed insignificant. We examine these issues in the context of two complementary problems: closed-set object detection and open-set target search. First, we present a method for predicting pixel-level objectness from a low resolution gist image, which we then use to select regions for subsequent evaluation at high resolution. This approach has the benefit of not being fixed to a predetermined grid, allowing fewer costly high-resolution glimpses than existing methods. Second, we propose a novel strategy for open-set visual search that seeks to find all objects in an image of the same class as a given target reference image. We interpret both detection problems through a probabilistic, Bayesian lens, whereby the objectness maps produced by our method serve as priors in a maximum-a-posteriori approach to the detection step. We evaluate the end-to-end performance of both the combination of our patch selection strategy with this target search approach and the combination of our patch selection strategy with standard object detection methods. Both our patch selection and target search approaches are seen to significantly outperform baseline strategies.


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