Temporal Lift Pooling for Continuous Sign Language Recognition
"Pooling methods are necessities for modern neural networks for increasing receptive fields and lowering down computational costs. However, commonly used hand-crafted pooling approaches, e.g. max pooling and average pooling, may not well preserve discriminative features. While many researchers have elaborately designed various pooling variants in spatial domain to handle these limitations with much progress, the temporal aspect is rarely visited where directly applying hand-crafted methods or these specialized spatial variants may not be optimal. In this paper, we derive temporal lift pooling (TLP) from the Lifting Scheme in signal processing to intelligently downsample features of different temporal hierarchies. The Lifting Scheme factorizes input signals into various sub-bands with different frequency, which can be viewed as different temporal movement patterns. Our TLP is a three-stage procedure, which performs signal decomposition, component weighting and information fusion to generate a refined downsized feature map. We select a typical temporal task with long sequences, i.e. continuous sign language recognition (CSLR), as our testbed to verify the effectiveness of TLP. Experiments on two large-scale datasets show TLP outperforms hand-crafted methods and specialized spatial variants by a large margin (1.5%) with similar computational overhead. As a robust feature extractor, TLP exhibits great generalizability upon multiple backbones on various datasets and achieves new state-of-the-art results on two large-scale CSLR datasets. Visualizations further demonstrate the mechanism of TLP in correcting gloss borders."