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DETRs Beat YOLOs on Real-time Object Detection

Yian Zhao · Wenyu Lv · Shangliang Xu · Jinman Wei · Guanzhong Wang · Qingqing Dang · Yi Liu · Jie Chen

Arch 4A-E Poster #229
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Thu 20 Jun 5 p.m. PDT — 6:30 p.m. PDT


The YOLO series has become the most popular framework for real-time object detection due to its reasonable trade-off between speed and accuracy. However, we observe that the speed and accuracy of YOLOs are negatively affected by the NMS. Recently, end-to-end Transformer-based detectors (DETRs) have provided an alternative to eliminating NMS. Nevertheless, the high computational cost limits their practicality and hinders them from fully exploiting the advantage of excluding NMS. In this paper, we propose the Real-Time DEtection TRansformer (RT-DETR), the first real-time end-to-end object detector to our best knowledge that addresses the above dilemma. We build RT-DETR in two steps, drawing on the advanced DETR: first we focus on maintaining accuracy while improving speed, followed by maintaining speed while improving accuracy. Specifically, we design an efficient hybrid encoder to expeditiously process multi-scale features by decoupling intra-scale interaction and cross-scale fusion to improve speed. Then, we propose the uncertainty-minimal query selection to provide high-quality initial queries to the decoder, thereby improving accuracy. In addition, RT-DETR supports flexible speed tuning by adjusting the number of decoder layers to adapt to various scenarios without retraining. Our RT-DETR-R50 / R101 achieves 53.1% / 54.3% AP on COCO and 108 / 74 FPS on T4 GPU, outperforming previously advanced YOLOs in both speed and accuracy. Furthermore, RT-DETR-R50 outperforms DINO-R50 by 2.2% AP in accuracy and about 21 times in FPS. After pre-training with Objects365, RT-DETR-R50 / R101 achieves 55.3% / 56.2% AP. Code is available in the supplementary material.

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