R-CNN for Small Object Detection

Existing object detection literature focuses on detecting a big object covering a large part of an image. The problem of detecting a small object covering a small part of an image is largely ignored. As a result, the state-of-the-art object detection algorithm renders unsatisfactory performance as applied to detect small objects in images. In this paper, we dedicate an effort to bridge the gap. We first compose a benchmark dataset tailored for the small object detection problem to better evaluate the small object detection performance. We then augment the state-of-the-art R-CNN algorithm with a context model and a small region proposal generator to improve the small object detection performance. We conduct extensive experimental validations for studying various design choices. Experiment results show that the augmented R-CNN algorithm improves the mean average precision by 29.8% over the original R-CNN algorithm on detecting small objects.