Weakly-Supervised Image Annotation and Segmentation with Objects and Attributes

Zhiyuan Shi, Yongxin Yang, Timothy M. Hospedales, Tao Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose to model complex visual scenes using a non-parametric Bayesian model learned from weakly labelled images abundant on media sharing sites such as Flickr. Given weak image-level annotations of objects and attributes without locations or associations between them, our model aims to learn the appearance of object and attribute classes as well as their association on each object instance. Once learned, given an image, our model can be deployed to tackle a number of vision problems in a joint and coherent manner, including recognising objects in the scene (automatic object annotation), describing objects using their attributes (attribute prediction and association), and localising and delineating the objects (object detection and semantic segmentation). This is achieved by developing a novel Weakly Supervised Markov Random Field Stacked Indian Buffet Process (WS-MRF-SIBP) that models objects and attributes as latent factors and explicitly captures their correlations within and across superpixels. Extensive experiments on benchmark datasets demonstrate that our weakly supervised model significantly outperforms weakly supervised alternatives and is often comparable with existing strongly supervised models on a variety of tasks including semantic segmentation, automatic image annotation and retrieval based on object-attribute associations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2525 - 2538
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number12
Early online date26 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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