Superpixel Sampling Networks
Superpixels provide an efficient low/mid-level representation of image data, which greatly reduces the number of image primitives for subsequent vision tasks. While various superpixel computation models exist, they are not differentiable, making them difficult to integrate into otherwise end-to-end trainable deep neural networks. In this work, we develop a new differentiable model for superpixel sampling that better leverages deep networks for learning superpixel segmentation. The resulting “Superpixel Sampling Network” (SSN) is end-to-end trainable, which allows learning task-specific superpixels with flexible loss functions and has fast runtime. Extensive experimental analysis indicates that SSNs not only outperforms existing superpixel algorithms on traditional segmentation benchmarks, but can also learns superpixels for other tasks. In addition, SSNs can be easily integrated into downstream deep networks resulting in performance improvements.