COLA: COarse LAbel pre-training for 3D semantic segmentation of sparse LiDAR datasets

by   Jules Sanchez, et al.

Transfer learning is a proven technique in 2D computer vision to leverage the large amount of data available and achieve high performance with datasets limited in size due to the cost of acquisition or annotation. In 3D, annotation is known to be a costly task; nevertheless, transfer learning methods have only recently been investigated. Unsupervised pre-training has been heavily favored as no very large annotated dataset are available. In this work, we tackle the case of real-time 3D semantic segmentation of sparse outdoor LiDAR scans. Such datasets have been on the rise, but with different label sets even for the same task. In this work, we propose here an intermediate-level label set called the coarse labels, which allows all the data available to be leveraged without any manual labelization. This way, we have access to a larger dataset, alongside a simpler task of semantic segmentation. With it, we introduce a new pre-training task: the coarse label pre-training, also called COLA. We thoroughly analyze the impact of COLA on various datasets and architectures and show that it yields a noticeable performance improvement, especially when the finetuning task has access only to a small dataset.


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