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FOCUS: Familiar Objects in Common and Uncommon Settings

Priyatham Kattakinda · Soheil Feizi

Room 318 - 320


Standard training datasets for deep learning often do not contain objects in uncommon and rare settings (e.g., “a plane on water”, “a car in snowy weather”). This can cause models trained on these datasets to incorrectly predict objects that are typical for the context in the image, rather than identifying the objects that are actually present. In this paper, we introduce FOCUS (Familiar Objects in Common and Uncommon Settings), a dataset for stress-testing the generalization power of deep image classifiers. By leveraging the power of modern search engines, we deliberately gather data containing objects in common and uncommon settings; in a wide range of locations, weather conditions, and time of day. We present a detailed analysis of the performance of various popular image classifiers on our dataset and demonstrate a clear drop in accuracy when classifying images in uncommon settings. We also show that finetuning a model on our dataset drastically improves its ability to focus on the object of interest leading to better generalization. Lastly, we leverage FOCUS to machine annotate additional visual attributes for the entirety of ImageNet. We believe that our dataset will aid researchers in understanding the inability of deep models to generalize well to uncommon settings and drive future work on improving their distributional robustness.

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