Semantic Curiosity for Active Visual Learning

Devendra Singh Chaplot, Helen Jiang, Saurabh Gupta, Abhinav Gupta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper, we study the task of embodied interactive learning for object detection. Given a set of environments (and some labeling budget), our goal is to learn an object detector by having an agent select what data to obtain labels for. How should an exploration policy decide which trajectory should be labeled? One possibility is to use a trained object detector’s failure cases as an external reward. However, this will require labeling millions of frames required for training RL policies, which is infeasible. Instead, we explore a self-supervised approach for training our exploration policy by introducing a notion of semantic curiosity. Our semantic curiosity policy is based on a simple observation – the detection outputs should be consistent. Therefore, our semantic curiosity rewards trajectories with inconsistent labeling behavior and encourages the exploration policy to explore such areas. The exploration policy trained via semantic curiosity generalizes to novel scenes and helps train an object detector that outperforms baselines trained with other possible alternatives such as random exploration, prediction-error curiosity, and coverage-maximizing exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Vision – ECCV 2020 - 16th European Conference, 2020, Proceedings
EditorsAndrea Vedaldi, Horst Bischof, Thomas Brox, Jan-Michael Frahm
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783030585389
StatePublished - 2020
Event16th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2020 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Aug 23 2020Aug 28 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12351 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference16th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Active visual learning
  • Embodied learning
  • Exploration
  • Semantic curiosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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