Task-Assisted Domain Adaptation with Anchor Tasks

Zhizhong Li, Linjie Luo, Sergey Tulyakov, Qieyun Dai, Derek Hoiem
Event WACV 2021
Research Areas Computer Vision

Some tasks, such as surface normals or single-view depth estimation, require per-pixel ground truth that is difficult to obtain on real images but easy to obtain on synthetic. However, models learned on synthetic images often do not generalize well to real images due to the domain shift. Our key idea to improve domain adaptation is to introduce a separate anchor task (such as facial landmarks) whose annotations can be obtained at no cost or are already available on both synthetic and real datasets. To further leverage the implicit relationship between the anchor and main tasks, we apply our freeze technique that learns the cross-task guidance on the source domain with the final network layers, and use it on the target domain. We evaluate our methods on surface normal estimation on two pairs of datasets (indoor scenes and faces) with two kinds of anchor tasks (semantic segmentation and facial landmarks). We show that blindly applying domain adaptation or training the auxiliary task on only one domain may hurt performance, while using anchor tasks on both domains is better behaved. Our freeze technique outperforms competing approaches, reaching performance in facial images on par with a recently popular surface normal estimation method using shape from shading domain knowledge.