Instance and Panoptic Segmentation Using Conditional Convolutions

Zhi Tian, Bowen Zhang, Hao Chen, Chunhua Shen

We propose a simple yet effective framework for instance and panoptic segmentation, termed CondInst (conditional convolutions for instance and panoptic segmentation). In the literature, top-performing instance segmentation methods typically follow the paradigm of Mask R-CNN and rely on ROI operations (typically ROIAlign) to attend to each instance. In contrast, we propose to attend to the instances with dynamic conditional convolutions. Instead of using instance-wise ROIs as inputs to the instance mask head of fixed weights, we design dynamic instance-aware mask heads, conditioned on the instances to be predicted. CondInst enjoys three advantages: 1.) Instance and panoptic segmentation are unified into a fully convolutional network, eliminating the need for ROI cropping and feature alignment. 2.) The elimination of the ROI cropping also significantly improves the output instance mask resolution. 3.) Due to the much improved capacity of dynamically-generated conditional convolutions, the mask head can be very compact (e.g., 3 conv. layers, each having only 8 channels), leading to significantly faster inference time per instance and making the overall inference time almost constant, irrelevant to the number of instances. We demonstrate a simpler method that can achieve improved accuracy and inference speed on both instance and panoptic segmentation tasks. On the COCO dataset, we outperform a few state-of-the-art methods. We hope that CondInst can be a strong baseline for instance and panoptic segmentation. Code is available at:

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