Facebook open-sources object detection research

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Facebook's object recognition platform, Detectron.
Facebook's object recognition platform, Detectron.

Facebook's artificial intelligence research (FAIR) team today announced it would open-source its object detection platform Detectron, as well as the research the team has done on it.

"The Detectron project was started in July 2016 with the goal of creating a fast and flexible object detection system built on Caffe2 [a deep learning framework], which was then in early alpha development," FAIR's Ross Girshick said in a blog post.

"Over the last year-and-a-half, the codebase has matured and supported a large number of our projects, including Mask R-CNN and Focal Loss for Dense Object Detection, which won the Marr Prize and Best Student Paper awards, respectively, at ICCV 2017.

"These algorithms, powered by Detectron, provide intuitive models for important computer vision tasks, such as instance segmentation, and have played a key role in the unprecedented advancement of visual perception systems that our community has achieved in recent years," says Girshick.

Other than research, Facebook says a number of other teams at the company use Detectron to train custom models for a variety of applications, including augmented reality and community integrity.

Girshick says once these models are trained, they can be deployed in the cloud and on mobile devices, powered by the Caffe2 runtime.

"Our goal in open-sourcing Detectron is to make our research as open as possible and to accelerate research in labs across the world. With its release, the research community will be able to reproduce our results and have access to the same software platform that FAIR uses every day," says Girshick.

Detectron is available under the Apache 2.0 licence at GitHub.

The company says it is also releasing extensive performance baselines for more than 70 pre-trained models that are available to download from its model zoo on GitHub.

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