Correlation Loss: Enforcing Correlation between Classification and Localization

Kahraman, Fehmi
Oksuz, Kemal
Akbaş, Emre
Object detectors are conventionally trained by a weighted sum of classification and localization losses. Recent studies (e.g., predicting IoU with an auxiliary head, Generalized Focal Loss, Rank & Sort Loss) have shown that forcing these two loss terms to interact with each other in non-conventional ways creates a useful inductive bias and improves performance. Inspired by these works, we focus on the correlation between classification and localization and make two main contributions: (i) We provide an analysis about the effects of correlation between classification and localization tasks in object detectors. We identify why correlation affects the performance of various NMS-based and NMS-free detectors, and we devise measures to evaluate the effect of correlation and use them to analyze common detectors. (ii) Motivated by our observations, e.g., that NMS-free detectors can also benefit from correlation, we propose Correlation Loss, a novel plug-in loss function that improves the performance of various object detectors by directly optimizing correlation coefficients: E.g., Correlation Loss on Sparse R-CNN, an NMS-free method, yields 1.6 AP gain on COCO and 1.8 AP gain on Cityscapes dataset. Our best model on Sparse R-CNN reaches 51.0 AP without test-time augmentation on COCO test-dev, reaching state-of-the-art. Code is available at:
37th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2023
Citation Formats
F. Kahraman, K. Oksuz, S. KALKAN, and E. Akbaş, “Correlation Loss: Enforcing Correlation between Classification and Localization,” Washington, Amerika Birleşik Devletleri, 2023, vol. 37, Accessed: 00, 2023. [Online]. Available: