HC-Search for Structured Prediction in Computer Vision

The mainstream approach to structured prediction problems in computer vision is to learn an energy function such that the solution minimizes that function. At prediction time, this approach must solve an often-challenging optimization problem. Search-based methods provide an alternative that has the potential to achieve higher performance. These methods learn to control a search procedure that constructs and evaluates candidate solutions. The recently-developed HC-Search method has been shown to achieve state-of-theart results in natural language processing, but mixed success when applied to vision problems. This paper studies whether HC-Search can achieve similarly competitive performance on basic vision tasks such as object detection, scene labeling, and monocular depth estimation, where the leading paradigm is energy minimization. To this end, we introduce a search operator suited to the vision domain that improves a candidate solution by probabilistically sampling likely object configurations in the scene from the hierarchical Berkeley segmentation. We complement this search operator by applying the DAGGER algorithm to robustly train the search heuristic so it learns from its previous mistakes. Our evaluation shows that these improvements reduce the branching factor and search depth, and thus give a significant performance boost. Our state-of-the-art results on scene labeling and depth estimation suggest that HCSearch provides a suitable tool for learning and inference in vision.

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition 2015
  • Paper