[ICML 2021] Towards Distraction-Robust Active Visual Tracking

In active visual tracking, it is notoriously difficult when distracting objects appear, as distractors often mislead the tracker by occluding the target or bringing a confusing appearance. To address this issue, we propose a mixed cooperative-competitive multi-agent game, where a target and multiple distractors form a collaborative team to play against a tracker and make it fail to follow. Through learning in our game, diverse distracting behaviors of the distractors naturally emerge, thereby exposing the tracker's weakness, which helps enhance the distraction-robustness of the tracker. For effective learning, we then present a bunch of practical methods, including a reward function for distractors, a cross-modal teacher-student learning strategy, and a recurrent attention module for the tracker. The experimental results show that our tracker performs desired distraction-robust active visual tracking and can be well generalized to unseen environments. We also show that the multi-agent game can be used to adversarially test the robustness of trackers.


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The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML 2021 will be held online July 18 – July 24, 2021.