Long-tail detection with effective class-margins

Jang Hyun Cho, Philipp Krähenbühl
ECCV 2022
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Large-scale object detection and instance segmentation face a severe data imbalance. The finer-grained object classes become, the less frequent they appear in our datasets. However, at test-time, we expect a detector that performs well for all classes and not just the most frequent ones. In this paper, we provide a theoretical understanding of the long-trail detection problem. We show how the commonly used mean average precision evaluation metric on an unknown test set is bound by a margin-based binary classification error on a long-tailed object detection training set. We optimize margin-based binary classification error with a novel surrogate objective called Effective Class-Margin Loss (ECM). The ECM loss is simple, theoretically well-motivated, and outperforms other heuristic counterparts on LVIS v1 benchmark over a wide range of architecture and detectors.