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In IEEE transactions on neural networks and learning systems

This article establishes a baseline for object reflection symmetry detection in natural images by releasing a new benchmark named Sym-PASCAL and proposing an end-to-end deep learning approach for reflection symmetry. Sym-PASCAL spans challenges of multiobjects, object diversity, part invisibility, and clustered backgrounds, which is far beyond those in existing data sets. The end-to-end deep learning approach, referred to as a side-output residual network (SRN), leverages the output residual units (RUs) to fit the errors between the symmetry ground truth and the side outputs of multiple stages of a trunk network. By cascading RUs from deep to shallow, SRN exploits the ``flow'' of errors along multiple stages to effectively matching object symmetry at different scales and suppress the clustered backgrounds. SRN is interpreted as a boosting-like algorithm, which assembles features using RUs during network forward and backward propagations. SRN is further upgraded to a multitask SRN (MT-SRN) for joint symmetry and edge detection, demonstrating its generality to image-to-mask learning tasks. Experimental results verify that the Sym-PASCAL benchmark is challenging related to real-world images, SRN achieves state-of-the-art performance, and MT-SRN has the capability to simultaneously predict edge and symmetry mask without loss of performance.

Ke Wei, Chen Jie, Jiao Jianbin, Zhao Guoying, Ye Qixiang

2020-May-29