Deep Layer Aggregation


Visual recognition requires rich representations that span levels from low to high, scales from small to large, and resolutions from fine to coarse. Even with the depth of features in a convolutional network, a layer in isolation is not enough: compounding and aggregating these representations improves inference of what and where. Architectural efforts are exploring many dimensions of network backbones, designing deeper or wider architectures, but how to best aggregate layers and blocks across a network deserves further attention. Although skip connections have been incorporated to combine layers, these connections have been shallow themselves, and only fuse by simple, one-step operations. We augment standard architectures with deeper aggregation to better fuse information across layers. Our deep layer aggregation structures iteratively and hierarchically merge the feature hierarchy to make networks with better accuracy and fewer parameters. Experiments across architectures and tasks show that deep layer aggregation improves recognition and resolution compared to existing branching and merging schemes.

Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018