To detect rotated objects in remote sensing images, researchers have proposed a series of arbitrary-oriented object detection methods, which place multiple anchors with different angles, scales, and aspect ratios on the images. However, a major difference between remote sensing images and natural images is the small probability of overlap between objects in the same category, so the anchor-based design can introduce much redundancy during the detection process. In this paper, we convert the detection problem to a center point prediction problem, where the pre-defined anchors can be discarded. By directly predicting the center point, orientation, and corresponding height and width of the object, our methods can simplify the design of the model and reduce the computations related to anchors. In order to further fuse the multi-level features and get accurate object centers, a deformable feature pyramid network is proposed, to detect objects under complex backgrounds and various orientations of rotated objects. Experiments and analysis on two remote sensing datasets, DOTA and HRSC2016, demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. Our best model, equipped with Deformable-FPN, achieved 74.75% mAP on DOTA and 96.59% on HRSC2016 with a single-stage model, single-scale training, and testing. By detecting arbitrarily oriented objects from their centers, the proposed model performs competitively against oriented anchor-based methods.
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