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Multi-Scale Representations by Varying Window Attention for Semantic Segmentation

Haotian Yan · Ming Wu · Chuang Zhang

Halle B #54
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Wed 8 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT

Abstract: Multi-scale learning is central to semantic segmentation. We visualize the effective receptive field (ERF) of canonical multi-scale representations and point out two risks learning them: \textit{scale inadequacy} and \textit{field inactivation}. A novel multi-scale learner, \textbf{varying window attention} (VWA), is presented to address these issues. VWA leverages the local window attention (LWA) and disentangles LWA into the query window and context window, allowing the context's scale to vary for the query to learn representations at multiple scales. However, varying the context to large-scale windows (enlarging ratio $R$) can significantly increase the memory footprint and computation cost ($R^2$ times larger than LWA). We propose a simple but professional re-scaling strategy to zero the extra induced cost without compromising performance. Consequently, VWA uses the same cost as LWA to overcome the receptive limitation of the local window.Furthermore, depending on VWA and employing various MLPs, we introduce a multi-scale decoder (MSD), \textbf{VWFormer}, to improve multi-scale representations for semantic segmentation. VWFormer achieves efficiency competitive with the most compute-friendly MSDs, like FPN and MLP decoder, but performs much better than any MSDs. For instance, using nearly half of UPerNet's computation, VWFormer outperforms it by $1.0\%-2.5\%$ mIoU on ADE20K.At little extra overhead, $\sim 10$G FLOPs, Mask2Former armed with VWFormer improves by $1.0\%-1.3\%$.

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