Partially-supervised instance segmentation is a task which requests segmenting objects from novel categories via learning on limited base categories with annotated masks thus eliminating demands of heavy annotation burden. The key to addressing this task is to build an effective class-agnostic mask segmentation model. Unlike previous methods that learn such models only on base categories, in this paper, we propose a new method, named ContrastMask, which learns a mask segmentation model on both base and novel categories under a unified pixel-level contrastive learning framework. In this framework, annotated masks of base categories and pseudo masks of novel categories serve as a prior for contrastive learning, where features from the mask regions (foreground) are pulled together, and are contrasted against those from the background, and vice versa. Through this framework, feature discrimination between foreground and background is largely improved, facilitating learning of the class-agnostic mask segmentation model. Exhaustive experiments on the COCO dataset demonstrate the superiority of our method, which outperforms previous state-of-the-arts.
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