Samuel Schulter NEC Labs America

Samuel Schulter

Senior Researcher


OmniLabel: A Challenging Benchmark for Language-Based Object Detection

Language-based object detection is a promising direction towards building a natural interface to describe objects in images that goes far beyond plain category names. While recent methods show great progress in that direction, proper evaluation is lacking. With OmniLabel, we propose a novel task definition, dataset, and evaluation metric. The task subsumes standard and open-vocabulary detection as well as referring expressions. With more than 30K unique object descriptions on over 25K images, OmniLabel provides a challenge benchmark with diverse and complex object descriptions in a naturally open-vocabulary setting. Moreover, a key differentiation to existing benchmarks is that our object descriptions can refer to one, multiple or even no object, hence, providing negative examples in free-form text. The proposed evaluation handles the large label space and judges performance via a modified average precision metric, which we validate by evaluating strong language-based baselines. OmniLabel indeed provides a challenging test bed for future research on language-based detection.

Efficient Controllable Multi-Task Architectures

Efficient Controllable Multi-Task Architectures We aim to train a multi-task model such that users can adjust the desired compute budget and relative importance of task performances after deployment, without retraining. This enables optimizing performance for dynamically varying user needs, without heavy computational overhead to train and save models for various scenarios. To this end, we propose a multi-task model consisting of a shared encoder and task-specific decoders where both encoder and decoder channel widths are slimmable. Our key idea is to control the task importance by varying the capacities of task-specific decoders, while controlling the total computational cost by jointly adjusting the encoder capacity. This improves overall accuracy by allowing a stronger encoder for a given budget, increases control over computational cost, and delivers high-quality slimmed sub-architectures based on user’s constraints. Our training strategy involves a novel `Configuration-Invariant Knowledge Distillation’ loss that enforces backbone representations to be invariant under different runtime width configurations to enhance accuracy. Further, we present a simple but effective search algorithm that translates user constraints to runtime width configurations of both the shared encoder and task decoders, for sampling the sub-architectures. The key rule for the search algorithm is to provide a larger computational budget to the higher preferred task decoder, while searching a shared encoder configuration that enhances the overall MTL performance. Various experiments on three multi-task benchmarks (PASCALContext, NYUDv2, and CIFAR100-MTL) with diverse backbone architectures demonstrate the advantage of our approach. For example, our method shows a higher controllability by 33.5% in the NYUD-v2 dataset over prior methods, while incurring much less compute cost.

Improving Pseudo Labels for Open-Vocabulary Object Detection

Improving Pseudo Labels for Open-Vocabulary Object Detection Recent studies show promising performance in open-vocabulary object detection (OVD) using pseudo labels (PLs) from pretrained vision and language models (VLMs). However, PLs generated by VLMs are extremely noisy due to the gap between the pretraining objective of VLMs and OVD, which blocks further advances on PLs. In this paper, we aim to reduce the noise in PLs and propose a method called online Self-training And a Split-and-fusion head for OVD (SAS-Det). First, the self-training finetunes VLMs to generate high quality PLs while prevents forgetting the knowledge learned in the pretraining. Second, a split-and-fusion (SAF) head is designed to remove the noise in localization of PLs, which is usually ignored in existing methods. It also fuses complementary knowledge learned from both precise ground truth and noisy pseudo labels to boost the performance. Extensive experiments demonstrate SAS-Det is both efficient and effective. Our pseudo labeling is 3 times faster than prior methods. SAS-Det outperforms prior state-of-the-art models of the same scale by a clear margin and achieves 37.4 AP50 and 27.3 APr on novel categories of the COCO and LVIS benchmarks, respectively.

NeurOCS: Neural NOCS Supervision for Monocular 3D Object Localization

NeurOCS: Neural NOCS Supervision for Monocular 3D Object Localization Monocular 3D object localization in driving scenes is a crucial task, but challenging due to its ill-posed nature. Estimating 3D coordinates for each pixel on the object surface holds great potential as it provides dense 2D-3D geometric constraints for the underlying PnP problem. However, high-quality ground truth supervision is not available in driving scenes due to sparsity and various artifacts of Lidar data, as well as the practical infeasibility of collecting per-instance CAD models. In this work, we present NeurOCS, a framework that uses instance masks and 3D boxes as input to learn 3D object shapes by means of differentiable rendering, which further serves as supervision for learning dense object coordinates. Our approach rests on insights in learning a category-level shape prior directly from real driving scenes, while properly handling single-view ambiguities. Furthermore, we study and make critical design choices to learn object coordinates more effectively from an object-centric view. Altogether, our framework leads to new state-of-the-art in monocular 3D localization that ranks 1st on the KITTI-Object benchmark among published monocular methods.

Q: How to Specialize Large Vision-Language Models to Data-Scarce VQA Tasks? A: Self-Train on Unlabeled Images!

Q: How to Specialize Large Vision-Language Models to Data-Scarce VQA Tasks? A: Self-Train on Unlabeled Images! Finetuning a large vision language model (VLM) on a target dataset after large scale pretraining is a dominant paradigm in visual question answering (VQA). Datasets for specialized tasks such as knowledge-based VQA or VQA in non natural-image domains are orders of magnitude smaller than those for general-purpose VQA. While collecting additional labels for specialized tasks or domains can be challenging, unlabeled images are often available. We introduce SelTDA (Self-Taught Data Augmentation), a strategy for finetuning large VLMs on small-scale VQA datasets. SelTDA uses the VLM and target dataset to build a teacher model that can generate question-answer pseudolabels directly conditioned on an image alone, allowing us to pseudolabel unlabeled images. SelTDA then finetunes the initial VLM on the original dataset augmented with freshly pseudolabeled images. We describe a series of experiments showing that our self-taught data augmentation increases robustness to adversarially searched questions, counterfactual examples, and rephrasings, it improves domain generalization, and results in greater retention of numerical reasoning skills. The proposed strategy requires no additional annotations or architectural modifications, and is compatible with any modern encoder-decoder multimodal transformer. Code available at

Exploiting Unlabeled Data with Vision and Language Models for Object Detection

Exploiting Unlabeled Data with Vision and Language Models for Object Detection Building robust and generic object detection frameworks requires scaling to larger label spaces and bigger training datasets. However, it is prohibitively costly to acquire annotations for thousands of categories at a large scale. We propose a novel method that leverages the rich semantics available in recent vision and language models to localize and classify objects in unlabeled images, effectively generating pseudo labels for object detection. Starting with a generic and class-agnostic region proposal mechanism, we use vision and language models to categorize each region of an image into any object category that is required for downstream tasks. We demonstrate the value of the generated pseudo labels in two specific tasks, open-vocabulary detection, where a model needs to generalize to unseen object categories, and semi-supervised object detection, where additional unlabeled images can be used to improve the model. Our empirical evaluation shows the effectiveness of the pseudo labels in both tasks, where we outperform competitive baselines and achieve a novel state-of-the-art for open-vocabulary object detection. Our code is available at

Single-Stream Multi-level Alignment for Vision-Language Pretraining

Single-Stream Multi-level Alignment for Vision-Language Pretraining Self-supervised vision-language pretraining from pure images and text with a contrastive loss is effective, but ignores fine-grained alignment due to a dual-stream architecture that aligns image and text representations only on a global level. Earlier, supervised, non-contrastive methods were capable of finer-grained alignment, but required dense annotations that were not scalable. We propose a single stream architecture that aligns images and language at multiple levels: global, fine-grained patch-token, and conceptual/semantic, using two novel tasks: symmetric cross-modality reconstruction (XMM) and a pseudo-labeled key word prediction (PSL). In XMM, we mask input tokens from one modality and use cross-modal information to reconstruct the masked token, thus improving fine-grained alignment between the two modalities. In PSL, we use attention to select keywords in a caption, use a momentum encoder to recommend other important keywords that are missing from the caption but represented in the image, and then train the visual encoder to predict the presence of those keywords, helping it learn semantic concepts that are essential for grounding a textual token to an image region. We demonstrate competitive performance and improved data efficiency on image-text retrieval, grounding, visual question answering/reasoning against larger models and models trained on more data. Code and models available at

Controllable Dynamic Multi-Task Architectures

Controllable Dynamic Multi-Task Architectures Multi-task learning commonly encounters competition for resources among tasks, specifically when model capacity is limited. This challenge motivates models which allow control over the relative importance of tasks and total compute cost during inference time. In this work, we propose such a controllable multi-task network that dynamically adjusts its architecture and weights to match the desired task preference as well as the resource constraints. In contrast to the existing dynamic multi-task approaches that adjust only the weights within a fixed architecture, our approach affords the flexibility to dynamically control the total computational cost and match the user-preferred task importance better. We propose a disentangled training of two hyper networks, by exploiting task affinity and a novel branching regularized loss, to take input preferences and accordingly predict tree-structured models with adapted weights. Experiments on three multi-task benchmarks, namely PASCAL-Context, NYU-v2, and CIFAR-100, show the efficacy of our approach. Project page is available at

MM-TTA: Multi-Modal Test-Time Adaptation for 3D Semantic Segmentation

Test-time adaptation approaches have recently emerged as a practical solution for handling domain shift without access to the source domain data. In this paper, we propose and explore a new multi-modal extension of test-time adaptation for 3D semantic segmentation. We find that, directly applying existing methods usually results in performance instability at test time, because multi-modal input is not considered jointly. To design a framework that can take full advantage of multi-modality, where each modality provides regularized self-supervisory signals to other modalities, we propose two complementary modules within and across the modalities. First, Intra-modal Pseudo-label Generation (Intra-PG) is introduced to obtain reliable pseudo labels within each modality by aggregating information from two models that are both pre-trained on source data but updated with target data at different paces. Second, Inter-modal Pseudo-label Refinement (Inter-PR) adaptively selects more reliable pseudo labels from different modalities based on a proposed consistency scheme. Experiments demonstrate that our regularized pseudo labels produce stable self-learning signals in numerous multi-modal test-time adaptation scenarios for 3D semantic segmentation. Visit our project website at

On Generalizing Beyond Domains in Cross-Domain Continual Learning

On Generalizing Beyond Domains in Cross-Domain Continual Learning Humans have the ability to accumulate knowledge of new tasks in varying conditions, but deep neural networks of-ten suffer from catastrophic forgetting of previously learned knowledge after learning a new task. Many recent methods focus on preventing catastrophic forgetting under the assumption of train and test data following similar distributions. In this work, we consider a more realistic scenario of continual learning under domain shifts where the model must generalize its inference to an unseen domain. To this end, we encourage learning semantically meaningful features by equipping the classifier with class similarity metrics as learning parameters which are obtained through Mahalanobis similarity computations. Learning of the backbone representation along with these extra parameters is done seamlessly in an end-to-end manner. In addition, we propose an approach based on the exponential moving average of the parameters for better knowledge distillation. We demonstrate that, to a great extent, existing continual learning algorithms fail to handle the forgetting issue under multiple distributions, while our proposed approach learns new tasks under domain shift with accuracy boosts up to 10% on challenging datasets such as DomainNet and OfficeHome.