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Annealing-Based Label-Transfer Learning for Open World Object Detection

Yuqing Ma · Hainan Li · Zhange Zhang · Jinyang Guo · Shanghang Zhang · Ruihao Gong · Xianglong Liu

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 307


Open world object detection (OWOD) has attracted extensive attention due to its practicability in the real world. Previous OWOD works manually designed unknown-discover strategies to select unknown proposals from the background, suffering from uncertainties without appropriate priors. In this paper, we claim the learning of object detection could be seen as an object-level feature-entanglement process, where unknown traits are propagated to the known proposals through convolutional operations and could be distilled to benefit unknown recognition without manual selection. Therefore, we propose a simple yet effective Annealing-based Label-Transfer framework, which sufficiently explores the known proposals to alleviate the uncertainties. Specifically, a Label-Transfer Learning paradigm is introduced to decouple the known and unknown features, while a Sawtooth Annealing Scheduling strategy is further employed to rebuild the decision boundaries of the known and unknown classes, thus promoting both known and unknown recognition. Moreover, previous OWOD works neglected the trade-off of known and unknown performance, and we thus introduce a metric called Equilibrium Index to comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of the OWOD models. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first OWOD work without manual unknown selection. Extensive experiments conducted on the common-used benchmark validate that our model achieves superior detection performance (200% unknown mAP improvement with the even higher known detection performance) compared to other state-of-the-art methods. Our code is available at

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