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Learning Near-Optimal Cost-Sensitive Decision Policy for Object Detection

Many popular object detectors, such as AdaBoost, SVM and deformable part-based models (DPM), compute additive scoring functions at a large number of windows in an image pyramid, thus computational efficiency is an important consideration in real time applications besides accuracy. In this paper, a decision policy refers to a sequence of two-sided thresholds to execute early reject and early accept based on the cumulative scores at each step. We formulate an empirical risk function as the weighted sum of the cost of computation and the loss of false alarm and missing detection. Then a policy is said to be cost-sensitive and optimal if it minimizes the risk function.

While the risk function is complex due to high-order correlations among the two-sided thresholds, we find that its upper bound can be optimized by dynamic programming efficiently. We show that the upper bound is very tight empirically and thus the resulting policy is said to be near-optimal. In experiments, we show that the decision policy outperforms state-of-the-art cascade methods significantly, in several popular detectiontasks and benchmarks, in terms of computational efficiency with similar accuracy of detection.