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IFSeg: Image-Free Semantic Segmentation via Vision-Language Model

Sukmin Yun · Seong Hyeon Park · Paul Hongsuck Seo · Jinwoo Shin

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 282


Vision-language (VL) pre-training has recently gained much attention for its transferability and flexibility in novel concepts (e.g., cross-modality transfer) across various visual tasks. However, VL-driven segmentation has been under-explored, and the existing approaches still have the burden of acquiring additional training images or even segmentation annotations to adapt a VL model to downstream segmentation tasks. In this paper, we introduce a novel image-free segmentation task where the goal is to perform semantic segmentation given only a set of the target semantic categories, but without any task-specific images and annotations. To tackle this challenging task, our proposed method, coined IFSeg, generates VL-driven artificial image-segmentation pairs and updates a pre-trained VL model to a segmentation task. We construct this artificial training data by creating a 2D map of random semantic categories and another map of their corresponding word tokens. Given that a pre-trained VL model projects visual and text tokens into a common space where tokens that share the semantics are located closely, this artificially generated word map can replace the real image inputs for such a VL model. Through an extensive set of experiments, our model not only establishes an effective baseline for this novel task but also demonstrates strong performances compared to existing methods that rely on stronger supervision, such as task-specific images and segmentation masks. Code is available at

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