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ClusterFomer: Clustering As A Universal Visual Learner

James Liang · Yiming Cui · Qifan Wang · Tong Geng · Wenguan Wang · Dongfang Liu

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #213


This paper presents ClusterFormer, a universal vision model that is based on the Clustering paradigm with TransFormer. It comprises two novel designs: 1) recurrent cross-attention clustering, which reformulates the cross-attention mechanism in Transformer and enables recursive updates of cluster centers to facilitate strong representation learning; and 2) feature dispatching, which uses the updated cluster centers to redistribute image features through similarity-based metrics, resulting in a transparent pipeline. This elegant design streamlines an explainable and transferable workflow, capable of tackling heterogeneous vision tasks (i.e., image classification, object detection, and image segmentation) with varying levels of clustering granularity (i.e., image-, box-, and pixel-level). Empirical results demonstrate that ClusterFormer outperforms various well-known specialized architectures, achieving 83.41% top-1 acc. over ImageNet-1K for image classification, 54.2% and 47.0% mAP over MS COCO for object detection and instance segmentation, 52.4% mIoU over ADE20K for semantic segmentation, and 55.8% PQ over COCO Panoptic for panoptic segmentation. This work aims to initiate a paradigm shift in universal visual understanding and to benefit the broader field.

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