Xiaolong Wang, Liliang Zhang, Liang Lin, Zhujin Liang, Wangmeng Zuo
This paper investigates how to extract objects-of-interest without relying on hand-craft features and sliding windows approaches, that aims to jointly solve two sub-tasks: (i) rapidly localizing salient objects from images, and (ii) accurately segmenting the objects based on the localizations. We present a general joint task learning framework, in which each task (either object localization or object segmentation) is tackled via a multi-layer convolutional neural network, and the two networks work collaboratively to boost performance. In particular, we propose to incorporate latent variables bridging the two networks in a joint optimization manner. The first network directly predicts the positions and scales of salient objects from raw images, and the latent variables adjust the object localizations to feed the second network that produces pixelwise object masks. An EM-type method is then studied for the joint optimization, iterating with two steps: (i) by using the two networks, it estimates the latent variables by employing an MCMC-based sampling method; (ii) it optimizes the parameters of the two networks unitedly via back propagation, with the fixed latent variables. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our joint learning framework significantly outperforms other state-of-the-art approaches in both accuracy and efficiency (e.g., 1000 times faster than competing approaches).