Keywords: robust object detection, autonomous driving
TL;DR: We perturb feature channel statistics to generalize object detectors under real-world domain shifts.
Abstract: Safety-critical applications such as autonomous driving require robust object detection invariant to real-world domain shifts. Such shifts can be regarded as different domain styles, which can vary substantially due to environment changes and sensor noises, but deep models only know the training domain style. Such domain style gap impedes object detection generalization on diverse real-world domains. Existing classification domain generalization (DG) methods cannot effectively solve the robust object detection problem, because they either rely on multiple source domains with large style variance or destroy the content structures of the original images. In this paper, we analyze and investigate effective solutions to overcome domain style overfitting for robust object detection without the above shortcomings. Our method, dubbed as Normalization Perturbation (NP), perturbs the channel statistics of source domain low-level features to synthesize various latent styles, so that the trained deep model can perceive diverse potential domains and generalizes well even without observations of target domain data in training. This approach is motivated by the observation that feature channel statistics of the target domain images deviate around the source domain statistics. We further explore the style-sensitive channels for effective style synthesis. Normalization Perturbation only relies on a single source domain and is surprisingly simple and effective, contributing a practical solution by effectively adapting or generalizing classification DG methods to robust object detection. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our method for generalizing object detectors under real-world domain shifts.
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