Spatial reasoning for few-shot object detection

Geonuk Kim, Hong Gyu Jung, Seong Whan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Although modern object detectors rely heavily on a significant amount of training data, humans can easily detect novel objects using a few training examples. The mechanism of the human visual system is to interpret spatial relationships among various objects and this process enables us to exploit contextual information by considering the co-occurrence of objects. Thus, we propose a spatial reasoning framework that detects novel objects with only a few training examples in a context. We infer geometric relatedness between novel and base RoIs (Region-of-Interests) to enhance the feature representation of novel categories using an object detector well trained on base categories. We employ a graph convolutional network as the RoIs and their relatedness are defined as nodes and edges, respectively. Furthermore, we present spatial data augmentation to overcome the few-shot environment where all objects and bounding boxes in an image are resized randomly. Using the PASCAL VOC and MS COCO datasets, we demonstrate that the proposed method significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art methods and verify its efficacy through extensive ablation studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108118
JournalPattern Recognition
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Institute for Information & communications Technology Planning & Evaluation(IITP) grant funded by the Korea government( MSIT ) (No. 2017-0-01779 , A machine learning and statistical inference framework for explainable artificial intelligence, No. 2019-0-01371, Development of brain-inspired AI with human-like intelligence, and No. 2019-0-00079, Artificial Intelligence Graduate School Program, Korea University).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Data augmentation
  • Few-shot learning
  • Object detection
  • Transfer learning
  • Visual reasoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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