DropMAE: Masked Autoencoders With Spatial-Attention Dropout for Tracking Tasks

Qiangqiang Wu · Tianyu Yang · Ziquan Liu · Baoyuan Wu · Ying Shan · Antoni B. Chan

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 211


In this paper, we study masked autoencoder (MAE) pretraining on videos for matching-based downstream tasks, including visual object tracking (VOT) and video object segmentation (VOS). A simple extension of MAE is to randomly mask out frame patches in videos and reconstruct the frame pixels. However, we find that this simple baseline heavily relies on spatial cues while ignoring temporal relations for frame reconstruction, thus leading to sub-optimal temporal matching representations for VOT and VOS. To alleviate this problem, we propose DropMAE, which adaptively performs spatial-attention dropout in the frame reconstruction to facilitate temporal correspondence learning in videos. We show that our DropMAE is a strong and efficient temporal matching learner, which achieves better finetuning results on matching-based tasks than the ImageNetbased MAE with 2× faster pre-training speed. Moreover, we also find that motion diversity in pre-training videos is more important than scene diversity for improving the performance on VOT and VOS. Our pre-trained DropMAE model can be directly loaded in existing ViT-based trackers for fine-tuning without further modifications. Notably, DropMAE sets new state-of-the-art performance on 8 out of 9 highly competitive video tracking and segmentation datasets. Our code and pre-trained models are available at

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