Semi-supervised object detection is crucial for 3D scene understanding, efficiently addressing the limitation of acquiring large-scale 3D bounding box annotations. Existing methods typically employ a teacher-student framework with pseudo-labeling to leverage unlabeled point clouds. However, producing reliable pseudo-labels in a diverse 3D space still remains challenging. In this work, we propose Diffusion-SS3D, a new perspective of enhancing the quality of pseudo-labels via the diffusion model for semi-supervised 3D object detection. Specifically, we include noises to produce corrupted 3D object size and class label distributions, and then utilize the diffusion model as a denoising process to obtain bounding box outputs. Moreover, we integrate the diffusion model into the teacher-student framework, so that the denoised bounding boxes can be used to improve pseudo-label generation, as well as the entire semi-supervised learning process. We conduct experiments on the ScanNet and SUN RGB-D benchmark datasets to demonstrate that our approach achieves state-of-the-art performance against existing methods. We also present extensive analysis to understand how our diffusion model design affects performance in semi-supervised learning.
Semi-supervised object detection is important for 3D scene understanding because obtaining large-scale 3D bounding box annotations on point clouds is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Existing semi-supervised methods usually employ teacher-student knowledge distillation together with an augmentation strategy to leverage unlabeled point clouds. However, these methods adopt global augmentation with scene-level transformations and hence are sub-optimal for instance-level object detection. In this work, we propose an object-level point augmentor (OPA) that performs local transformations for semi-supervised 3D object detection. In this way, the resultant augmentor is derived to emphasize object instances rather than irrelevant backgrounds, making the augmented data more useful for object detector training. Extensive experiments on the ScanNet and SUN RGB-D datasets show that the proposed OPA performs favorably against the state-of-the-art methods under various experimental settings. The source code will be available at https://github.com/nomiaro/OPA.