Scale Imbalance

Encord Computer Vision Glossary

Scale Imbalance

In computer vision, scale imbalance refers to a situation where certain classes or objects in an image dataset are significantly smaller in size than others. This can pose a challenge in training computer vision models because the model may become biased towards larger objects or classes and may perform poorly on smaller ones.

Scale imbalance can occur in various scenarios, such as in satellite imagery where some features of interest may be smaller than others, or in medical imaging where certain anomalies may be smaller in size. If not addressed properly, scale imbalance can lead to poor accuracy and misclassification of images.

Scale imbalance can be sub-classified into-box level scale imbalance and feature-level scale imbalance.

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What to do when you have scale imbalance?

One way to deal with scale imbalance is through data augmentation techniques such as resizing, cropping, and scaling. These techniques can help to balance the size distribution of objects or classes in the dataset and ensure that the model is trained on a more representative sample.

Another approach is to use class weighting, which assigns different weights to different classes based on their frequency in the dataset. This technique can help to balance the impact of each class on the model's loss function and improve its performance on smaller classes.

Furthermore, recent advances in deep learning have led to the development of object detection and segmentation algorithms that are specifically designed to handle scale imbalance. These algorithms use multiscale feature maps and feature pyramids to detect objects of different sizes and scales, and have shown promising results in addressing scale imbalance in computer vision.

In conclusion, scale imbalance is a common challenge in computer vision model training, but can be addressed through a combination of data augmentation, class weighting, and advanced algorithms. By properly addressing scale imbalance, computer vision models can achieve better accuracy and more reliable results.

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