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OxUvA long-term tracking benchmark [ECCV'18]

Note: If, while reading this tutorial, you are stuck somewhere or you are unsure you are interpreting the instructions correctly, do not hesitate to open an issue here on GitHub.

This repository provides Python code to measure the quality of a tracker's predictions and generate all figures of the paper. The following sections provide instructions for each stage.

  1. Obtain the data
  2. Set up the environment
  3. Run your tracker
  4. Submit to the evaluation server
  5. Generate the plots for a paper
  6. Add your tracker to the results page

The challenge is split into two tracks: "constrained" and "open". To be eligible for the "constrained" challenge, a tracker must use only the data in annotations/dev_constrained_ytbb_train.csv and annotations/dev.csv for development. All other trackers must enter the "open" challenge. With development we intend, in addition to training, also pre-training, validation and hyper-parameter search. For example, SINT uses pre-trained weights and SiamFC is trained from scratch on ImageNet VID. Hence they are both in the "open" challenge.

The results of all citeable trackers are maintained in a results repository. This repo should be used for comparison against state-of-the-art. It is updated periodically according to a schedule.

1. Obtain the data

The ground-truth labels for the dev set can be found in this repository in dataset/annotations. The tracker initialization for the dev and test sets can be found in dataset/tasks. Note: Only the annotations for the dev set are public. These can be useful for diagnosing failures and hyperparameter search. For the test set, the annotations are secret and trackers can only be assessed via the evaluation server (explained later).

To obtain the images, fill in this form and then download images_dev.tar and images_test.tar. Extract these archives in dataset/.

The structure of dataset/ should be:


where {subset} is either dev or test, {video} is the video ID e.g. vid0042, and {frame:06d} is the frame number e.g. 002934.

Task format

A tracking "task" consists of the initial and final frame numbers and the rectangle that defines the target in the initial frame. A collection of tracking tasks are specified in a single CSV file (e.g. dataset/tasks/dev.csv) with the following fields.

  • video_id: (string) Name of video.
  • object_id: (string) Name of object within the video.
  • init_frame: (integer) Frame in which initial rectangle is specified.
  • last_frame: (integer) Last frame in which tracker is required to make a prediction (inclusive).
  • xmin, xmax, ymin, ymax: (float) Rectangle in the initial frame. Co-ordinates are relative to the image: zero means top and left, one means bottom and right.

A tracker should output predictions for frames init_frame + 1, init_frame + 2, ..., last_frame.

The function oxuva.load_dataset_tasks_csv will return a VideoObjectDict of Tasks from such a file.

Annotation format

A track "annotation" gives the ground-truth path of an object. This can be used for training and evaluating trackers. The annotation includes the class, but this information is not provided for a "task", and thus will not be available at testing time.

A collection of track annotations are specified in a single CSV file (e.g. dataset/annotations/dev.csv) with the following fields.

  • video_id: (string) Name of video.
  • object_id: (string) Name of object within the video.
  • class_id: (integer) Index of object class. Matches YTBB.
  • class_name: (string) Name of object class. Matches YTBB.
  • contains_cuts: (string) Either true, false or unknown.
  • always_visible: (string) Either true, false or unknown.
  • frame_num: (integer) Frame of current annotation.
  • object_presence: (string) Either present or absent.
  • xmin, xmax, ymin, ymax: (float) Rectangle in the current frame if present, otherwise it should be ignored.

The function oxuva.load_dataset_annotations_csv will return a VideoObjectDict of track annotation dict from such a file. The functions oxuva.make_track_label and oxuva.make_frame_label are used to construct track annotation dicts. The function oxuva.make_task_from_track converts a track annotation into a tracking task with ground-truth labels.

2. Set up the environment

To run the code in this repository, it is necessary to install the Python libraries listed in requirements.txt. To install these dependencies using pip (perhaps in a virtual environment):

pip install -r requirements.txt

You must also add the parent directory of oxuva/ to PYTHONPATH to be able to import the oxuva package.

export PYTHONPATH="path/to/long-term-tracking-benchmark/python:$PYTHONPATH"

Alternatively, for convenience, you can source the script in bash:

source path/to/long-term-tracking-benchmark/

3. Run your tracker

Note: Unlike the VOT or OTB toolkits, ours does not execute your tracker. Your tracker should output all predictions in the format described below. For Python trackers, we provide the utility functions oxuva.load_dataset_tasks_csv and oxuva.dump_predictions_csv to make this easy. See examples/opencv/ for an example.

All rectangle co-ordinates are relative to the image: zero means top and left, one means bottom and right. If the object extends beyond the image boundary, ground-truth rectangles are clipped to [0, 1].

Prediction format

The predictions for a tracker are specified with one CSV file per track. The names of these files must be {video}_{object}.csv. The fields of these CSV files are:

  • video_id: (string) Name of video.
  • object_id: (string) Name of object within the video.
  • frame_num: (integer) Frame of current annotation.
  • present: (string) Either present or absent (can use true/false or 0/1 too)
  • score: (float) Number that represents confidence of object presence.
  • xmin, xmax, ymin, ymax: (float) Rectangle in the current frame if present, otherwise it is ignored.

The score is only used for diagnostics, it does not affect the main evaluation of the tracker. If the object is predicted absent, then the score and the rectangle will not be used. Since the ground-truth annotations do not extend beyond the edge of the image, the evaluation toolkit will truncate the predicted rectangles to the image frame before computing the IOU.

4. Submit to the evaluation server

Since the annotations for the test set are secret, in order to evaluate your tracker and produce plots similar to the one in our paper you need to submit the raw prediction csv files to the evaluation server, hosted on CodaLab.

First, create a CodaLab account (if you do not already have one) and request to join the OxUvA competition. Note that the CodaLab account is per human, not per tracker. Do not create a username for your tracker. The name of your tracker will appear when you add it to the results repository (point 6 of this tutorial). Please choose a username that enables us to identify you, such as your real name or your GitHub account.

To submit the results, create a zip archive containing all predictions in CSV format (as described above). There should be one file per object with the filename {video}_{object}.csv. It doesn't matter whether the CSV files are contained at the root level of the zip archive or below a single subdirectory of any name. If a submission encounters an error (for example, a missing prediction file), you will be able to view the verbose error log, and the submission will not count towards your quota. (If you want, you can first upload your predictions for the dev set to confirm that your predictions are in the correct format.) Please consider that for the dev set your quota is of 500 submissions in total (max 50 per day), while for the test set the limit is of 10 submissions in total (max 1 per day).

Once the submission has been successful, you can download the generated output files. These will be used to generate the plots and submit to the results repo.

Note: You will notice that the CodaLab challenge shows a leaderboard with usernames and scores. For the purpose of writing a paper, you do not need to compare against the most recent methods: what matters are the state-of-the-art results for citeable trackers in the results repository (point 6).

5. Generate the plots for a paper

First, clone the results repo.

git clone
cd long-term-tracking-results

This repo contains several snapshots of the past state-of-the-art as git tags (TODO generate tags). The tag eccv18 indicates the set of methods in our original paper, and successive tags are of the form {year}-{month:02d}, for example:

git checkout 2018-07

You can state in your paper which tag you are comparing against. When writing a paper, you are not required to compare against the most recent state-of-the-art... but clearly the most recent the better, as your results will be more convincing.

Add an entry for your tracker to trackers.json. You must specify a human-readable name for your tracker, and whether your tracker is eligible for the constrained-data challenge.

    "tracker_id": {"name": "Tracker Name", "constrained": false},

Use python -m json.tool --sort-keys to standardize the formatting and order of this file.

For the test set, copy the iou_0dx.json files returned by the evaluation server to the directory results/assess/test/{tracker_id}/ in the results repo. The script will try to load this summary of the tracker assessment from these files before attempting to read the complete predictions of the tracker and the ground-truth annotations.

For the dev set, you may follow the same procedure as above. However, it is possible to evaluate your tracker's predictions locally, without using the evaluation server. To do this, put the CSV files of your tracker's predictions (that is, the input to the evaluation server) in the directory predictions/dev/{tracker_id}/ in the results repo. The script will generate the corresponding files in the assess/ directory. Note that if you update the predictions, you should erase the corresponding files in the assess/ directory, or specify --no_use_summary. If desired, the predictions of other trackers on the dev set are available from Google Drive (TODO). Please do not publish your predictions on the test set, as it may enable someone to construct an approximate ground-truth using a consensus method.

To generate all plots and tables, use or

bash --data=test --challenge=open --loglevel=warning

To just generate the table of results:

python -m table --data=dev --challenge=open

The results table will be written to analysis/dev/open/table.csv. Use --help to discover the optional flags. For example, you can use --iou_thresholds 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.7 0.9 to generate the results with a wider range of thresholds.

Similarly, to just generate the main figure, use:

python -m plot_tpr_tnr --data=dev --challenge=open

Note: Please do not put the dev set plots in the paper without the test set. In general, comparison statements of the type A is better than B should be done using the test set.

6. Add your tracker to the results page

Separately from the evaluation server, we are maintaining a results page/repository that reflects the state-of-the-art on our dataset.

In order to have your tracker added to the plots, you need to:

  1. Have completed all the previous points and produced the test set plots of your tracker.
  2. Have a document that describes your tracker. It does not need to be a peer-reviewed conference - arXiv is fine - we just need a citeable method.
  3. Do a pull request to the results repository, containing everything we need to update the plots (i.e. assess/test/{tracker_name}/iou_0d{3,5,7}.json. Remember to specify the name of your tracker and whether it qualifies for the constrained challenge in trackers.json. In the comment section, please include a) your CodaLab username, b) the paper that describes your method and optionally d) a short description of your method. Do not include the generated plots, we will update these after merging the pull request.
  4. The organizers will manually review your request according to this schedule.

Remember that even if your method is not in first place, submitting your tracker to the results repository is valuable to the community and it increases the chance of having your paper read and cited.


[ECCV'18] Long-term Tracking in the Wild: A Benchmark



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