June 27, 2016

Unsupervised Learning of Edges


By: Yin Li, Manohar Paluri, James M. Rehg, Piotr Dollar


Data-driven approaches for edge detection have proven effective and achieve top results on modern benchmarks. However, all current data-driven edge detectors require manual supervision for training in the form of hand-labeled region segments or object boundaries. Specifically, human annotators mark semantically meaningful edges which are subsequently used for training. Is this form of strong, highlevel supervision actually necessary to learn to accurately detect edges? In this work we present a simple yet effective approach for training edge detectors without human supervision. To this end we utilize motion, and more specifically, the only input to our method is noisy semi-dense matches between frames. We begin with only a rudimentary knowledge of edges (in the form of image gradients), and alternate between improving motion estimation and edge detection in turn. Using a large corpus of video data, we show that edge detectors trained using our unsupervised scheme approach the performance of the same methods trained with full supervision (within 3-5%). Finally, we show that when using a deep network for the edge detector, our approach provides a novel pre-training scheme for object detection.