In unsupervised domain adaptation (UDA), a model trained on source data (e.g. synthetic) is adapted to target data (e.g. real-world) without access to target annotation. Most previous UDA methods struggle with classes that have a similar visual appearance on the target domain as no ground truth is available to learn the slight appearance differences. To address this problem, we propose a Masked Image Consistency (MIC) module to enhance UDA by learning spatial context relations of the target domain as additional clues for robust visual recognition. MIC enforces the consistency between predictions of masked target images, where random patches are withheld, and pseudo-labels that are generated based on the complete image by an exponential moving average teacher. To minimize the consistency loss, the network has to learn to infer the predictions of the masked regions from their context. Due to its simple and universal concept, MIC can be integrated into various UDA methods across different visual recognition tasks such as image classification, semantic segmentation, and object detection. MIC significantly improves the state-of-the-art performance across the different recognition tasks for synthetic-to-real, day-to-nighttime, and clear-to-adverse-weather UDA. For instance, MIC achieves an unprecedented UDA performance of 75.9 mIoU and 92.8% on GTA-to-Cityscapes and VisDA-2017, respectively, which corresponds to an improvement of +2.1 and +3.0 percent points over the previous state of the art. The implementation is available at https://github.com/lhoyer/MIC.
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