The most difficult aspect of Deep Learning is gathering data. To train our model, we need a large dataset. We require multiple photos of the item and its labels, much like in the classification issue. Manually gathering and identifying photographs is a time-consuming operation that becomes more difficult when dealing with image segmentation or object recognition challenges. COCO is a well-defined dataset that academics and practitioners commonly use for this purpose.

What is COCO?

COCO stands for a common object in context, and it signifies that the photos in the collection are daily items.

It is a large-scale picture dataset that includes annotations for object recognition, image segmentation, image labeling, and key points (for image positioning). The human force is in charge of creating these annotations for all of the photographs. All of these segments, labels, key points, and other items are handcrafted by the COCO team. That is why COCO is dependable and allows us to build solid models.

There are several COCO datasets, each designed for a distinct machine learning job and supplemented with new data. The three most popular tasks are as follows:

  • Segmentation of objects/instances — The model should receive not only bounding boxes for objects but also segmentation masks, i.e. coordinates of polygons tightly around the object
  • Stuff segmentation – the model should do object segmentation, but not on individual objects (“things”), but on backdrop continuous patterns such as grass or sky.
  • Object detection — the model should obtain bounding boxes for objects, i.e. return a list of object classes and coordinates of rectangles around them; objects are discrete, separate objects, often with parts, such as humans and cars; the official dataset for this task also includes additional data for object segmentation.

Detecting an item includes both expressing the presence of an object of a specific class and localizing it in the picture. An abounding box is commonly used to depict an object’s position. Early algorithms concentrated on face detection using ad hoc datasets. Later, more realistic and difficult face detection datasets were developed. Another common problem is pedestrian detection, for which various datasets have been developed.

From 2005 to 2012, a multi-year effort was committed to the construction and management of a collection of widely used benchmark datasets for the detection of fundamental item types.

A detection challenge based on 200 item categories was recently constructed using a subset of 400,000 photos from ImageNet. Using bounding boxes, 350,000 items have been labeled.

Because the identification of many things, such as sunglasses, telephones, and chairs, is largely dependent on contextual information, detection datasets must include objects in their natural surroundings. The usage of bounding boxes also restricts the precision with which detection methods may be assessed.

These tasks are extremely useful in computer vision, for example, in self-driving cars. – identification of persons and other cars, as well as AI-powered security – human detection and/or segmentation, as well as to object re-identification – object segmentation, or eliminating background using stuff segmentation, aids in determining object identity.


The ability to learn from a big and well-documented dataset is arguably the most crucial aspect of supervised machine learning. COCO, which is sponsored by Microsoft, categorizes and classifies photos while also giving machine-readable context captions and tags. All of this significantly reduces the fundamental training time for any AI that has to handle images.