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In this paper we address the problem of using boosting (e.g. AdaBoost [7]) to classify a target class with significant intra-class variation against a large background class. This situation occurs for example when we want to recognize a visual object class against all other image patches. The boosting algorithm produces a strong classifier, which is a linear combination of weak classifiers. We observe that we often have sets of weak classifiers that individually fire on many examples of the target class but never fire together on those examples (i.e. their outputs are anticorrelated on the target class). Motivated by this observation we suggest a family of derived weak classifiers, termed gated classifiers, that suppress such combinations of weak classifiers. Gated classifiers can be used on top of any original weak learner. We run experiments on two popular datasets, showing that our method reduces the required number of weak classifiers by almost an order of magnitude, which in turn yields faster detectors. We experiment on synthetic data showing that gated classifiers enables more complex distributions to be represented. We hope that gated classifiers will extend the usefulness of boosted classifier cascades [29].

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