Towards Understanding Deep Saliency Prediction

Navyasri M


Learning computational models for visual attention (saliency estimation) is an effort to inch machines/robots closer to human visual cognitive abilities. Data-driven efforts have dominated the landscape since the introduction of deep neural network architectures. In deep learning research, the choices in architecture design are often empirical and frequently lead to more complex models than necessary. The complexity, in turn, hinders the application requirements. In this work, we identify four key components of saliency models, i.e., input features, multi-level integration, readout architecture, and loss functions. We review the existing state of the art models on these four components and propose novel and simpler alternatives. As a result, we propose two novel end-to-end architectures called SimpleNet and MDNSal, which are neater, minimal, more interpretable and achieve state of the art performance on public saliency benchmarks. SimpleNet is an optimized encoder-decoder architecture and brings notable performance gains on the SALICON dataset (the largest saliency benchmark). MDNSal is a parametric model that directly predicts parameters of a GMM distribution and is aimed to bring more interpretability to the prediction maps. The proposed saliency models can be inferred at 25fps, making them suitable for real-time applications. We also explore the possibility of improving saliency prediction in videos by using the image saliency models and existing work.

Year of completion:  May 2021
 Advisor : Vineet Gandhi

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