CAT: Learning to collaborate channel and spatial attention from multi‐information fusion

Wu, Zizhang; Wang, Man; Sun, Weiwei; Li, Yuchen;
Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Technische Universität Braunschweig
Xu, Tianhao; Wang, Fan; Huang, Keke

Channel and spatial attention mechanisms have proven to provide an evident performance boost of deep convolution neural networks. Most existing methods focus on one or run them parallel (series), neglecting the collaboration between the two attentions. In order to better establish the feature interaction between the two types of attentions, a plug-and-play attention module is proposed, which is termed as ‘CAT’—activating the Collaboration between spatial and channel Attentions based on learned Traits. Specifically, traits are represented as trainable coefficients (i.e. colla-factors) to adaptively combine contributions of different attention modules to fit different image hierarchies and tasks better. Moreover, the global entropy pooling is proposed apart from global average pooling and global maximum pooling (GMP) operators, which is an effective component in suppressing noise signals by measuring the information disorder of feature maps. A three-way pooling operation is introduced into attention modules and the adaptive mechanism is applied to fuse their outcomes. Extensive experiments on MS COCO, Pascal-VOC, Cifar-100, and ImageNet show that our CAT outperforms the existing state-of-the-art attention mechanisms in object detection, instance segmentation, and image classification. The model and code will be released soon.


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