Multi-Task Classification of Sewer Pipe Defects and Properties using a Cross-Task Graph Neural Network Decoder

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The sewerage infrastructure is one of the most important and expensive infrastructures in modern society. In order to efficiently manage the sewerage infrastructure, automated sewer inspection has to be utilized. However, while sewer defect classification has been investigated for decades, little attention has been given to classifying sewer pipe properties such as water level, pipe material, and pipe shape, which are needed to evaluate the level of sewer pipe deterioration.

In this work we classify sewer pipe defects and properties concurrently and present a novel decoder-focused multi-task classification architecture Cross-Task Graph Neural Network (CT-GNN), which refines the disjointed per-task predictions using cross-task information. The CT-GNN architecture extends the traditional disjointed task-heads decoder, by utilizing a cross-task graph and unique class node embeddings. The cross-task graph can either be determined a priori based on the conditional probability between the task classes or determined dynamically using self-attention. CT-GNN can be added to any backbone and trained end-to-end at a small increase in the parameter count. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on all four classification tasks in the Sewer-ML dataset, improving defect classification and water level classification by 5.3 and 8.0 percentage points, respectively. We also outperform the single task methods as well as other multi-task classification approaches while introducing 50 times fewer parameters than previous model-focused approaches. The code and models are available at the project page
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2022 IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision, WACV 2022
Number of pages12
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-0916-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-0915-5
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventIEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV) - Waikoloa, United States
Duration: 4 Jan 20228 Jan 2022


ConferenceIEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesIEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)


  • Computer Vision
  • Sewer Inspection
  • Sewer Defect
  • Sewer Property
  • Defect Classification
  • Multi-Task Learning
  • Multi-Task Classification
  • Graph Neural Networks


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