Due to changes in illumination, adverse weather conditions, and interference from signs similar to real traffic signs, the false detection of traffic signs is possible. Nevertheless, in order to improve the detection effect of small targets, baseline SSD (single shot multibox detector) adopts a multi-scale feature detection method to improve the detection effect to some extent. The detection effect of small targets is improved, but the number of calculations needed for the baseline SSD network is large. To this end, we propose a lightweight SSD network algorithm. This method uses some 1 × 1 convolution kernels to replace some of the 3 × 3 convolution kernels in the baseline network and deletes some convolutional layers to reduce the calculation load of the baseline SSD network. Then the color detection algorithm based on the phase difference method and the connected component calculation are used to further filter the detection results, and finally, the data enhancement strategy based on the image appearance transformation is used to improve the balance of the dataset. The experimental results show that the proposed method is 3% more accurate than the baseline SSD network, and more importantly, the detection speed is also increased by 1.2 times.
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