Does thermal really always matter for RGB-T salient object detection?

Runmin CONG, Kepu ZHANG, Chen ZHANG, Feng ZHENG, Yao ZHAO, Qingming HUANG, Sam KWONG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, RGB-T salient object detection (SOD) has attracted continuous attention, which makes it possible to identify salient objects in environments such as low light by introducing thermal image. However, most of the existing RGB-T SOD models focus on how to perform cross-modality feature fusion, ignoring whether thermal image is really always matter in SOD task. Starting from the definition and nature of this task, this paper rethinks the connotation of thermal modality, and proposes a network named TNet to solve the RGB-T SOD task. In this paper, we introduce a global illumination estimation module to predict the global illuminance score of the image, so as to regulate the role played by the two modalities. In addition, considering the role of thermal modality, we set up different cross-modality interaction mechanisms in the encoding phase and the decoding phase. On the one hand, we introduce a semantic constraint provider to enrich the semantics of thermal images in the encoding phase, which makes thermal modality more suitable for the SOD task. On the other hand, we introduce a two-stage localization and complementation module in the decoding phase to transfer object localization cue and internal integrity cue in thermal features to the RGB modality. Extensive experiments on three datasets show that the proposed TNet achieves competitive performance compared with 20 state-of-the-art methods. The code and results can be found from the link of <uri></uri>.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Multimedia
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • RGB-T images
  • Salient object detection
  • Global illumination estimation
  • Semantic constraint provider
  • Localization and complementation


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