SimCC: A Simple Coordinate Classification Perspective for Human Pose Estimation
"The 2D heatmap-based approaches have dominated Human Pose Estimation (HPE) for years due to high performance. However, the long-standing quantization error problem in the 2D heatmap-based methods leads to several well-known drawbacks: 1) The performance for the low-resolution inputs is limited; 2) To improve the feature map resolution for higher localization precision, multiple costly upsampling layers are required; 3) Extra post-processing is adopted to reduce the quantization error. To address these issues, we aim to explore a brand new scheme, called SimCC, which reformulates HPE as two classification tasks for horizontal and vertical coordinates. The proposed SimCC uniformly divides each pixel into several bins, thus achieving sub-pixel localization precision and low quantization error. Benefiting from that, SimCC can omit additional refinement post-processing and exclude upsampling layers under certain settings, resulting in a more simple and effective pipeline for HPE. Extensive experiments conducted over COCO, CrowdPose, and MPII datasets show that SimCC outperforms heatmap-based counterparts, especially in low-resolution settings by a large margin. Code is now publicly available at https://github.com/leeyegy/SimCC."