ServiceNow Research

Where are the Blobs: Counting by Localization with Point Supervision


Object counting is an important task in computer vision due to its growing demand in applications such as surveillance, traffic monitoring, and counting everyday objects. State-of-the-art methods use regression-based optimization where they explicitly learn to count the objects of interest. These often perform better than detection-based methods that need to learn the more difficult task of predicting the location, size, and shape of each object. However, we propose a detection-based method that does not need to estimate the size and shape of the objects and that outperforms regression-based methods. Our contributions are three-fold: (1) we propose a novel loss function that encourages the network to output a single blob per object instance using point-level annotations only; (2) we design two methods for splitting large predicted blobs between object instances; and (3) we show that our method achieves new state-of-the-art results on several challenging datasets including the Pascal VOC and the Penguins dataset. Our method even outperforms those that use stronger supervision such as depth features, multi-point annotations, and bounding-box labels.

European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV)
Issam H. Laradji
Issam H. Laradji
Research Scientist

Research Scientist at Low Data Learning located at Vancouver, BC, Canada.

David Vazquez
David Vazquez
Manager of Research Programs

Manager of Research Programs at Research Management located at Montreal, QC, Canada.