Relation Matters: Relational Context-Aware Fully Convolutional Network for Semantic Segmentation of High-Resolution Aerial Images
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Most current semantic segmentation approaches fall back on deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs). However, their use of convolution operations with local receptive fields causes failures in modeling contextual spatial relations. Prior works have sought to address this issue by using graphical models or spatial propagation modules in networks. But such models often fail to capture long-range spatial relationships between entities, which leads to spatially fragmented predictions. Moreover,
... ent works have demonstrated that channel-wise information also acts a pivotal part in CNNs. In this article, we introduce two simple yet effective network units, the spatial relation module, and the channel relation module to learn and reason about global relationships between any two spatial positions or feature maps, and then produce Relation-Augmented (RA) feature representations. The spatial and channel relation modules are general and extensible, and can be used in a plug-andplay fashion with the existing fully convolutional network (FCN) framework. We evaluate relation module-equipped networks on semantic segmentation tasks using two aerial image data sets, namely International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) Vaihingen and Potsdam data sets, which fundamentally depend on long-range spatial relational reasoning. The networks achieve very competitive results, a mean F 1 score of 88.54% on the Vaihingen data set and a mean F 1 score of 88.01% on the Potsdam data set, bringing significant improvements over baselines. Index Terms-Fully convolutional network (FCN), high resolution aerial imagery, relation network, semantic segmentation.