Learning to Segment Every Thing
Existing methods for object instance segmentation require all training instances to be labeled with segmentation masks. This requirement makes it expensive to annotate new categories and has restricted instance segmentation models to ~100 well-annotated classes. The goal of this paper is to propose a new partially supervised training paradigm, together with a novel weight transfer function, that enables training instance segmentation models over a large set of categories for which all have box annotations, but only a small fraction have mask annotations. These contributions allow us to train Mask R-CNN to detect and segment 3000 visual concepts using box annotations from the Visual Genome dataset and mask annotations from the 80 classes in the COCO dataset. We carefully evaluate our proposed approach in a controlled study on the COCO dataset. This work is a first step towards instance segmentation models that have broad comprehension of the visual world.