Models, code, and papers for "Andrew Tao":
We propose an efficient and interpretable scene graph generator. We consider three types of features: visual, spatial and semantic, and we use a late fusion strategy such that each feature's contribution can be explicitly investigated. We study the key factors about these features that have the most impact on the performance, and also visualize the learned visual features for relationships and investigate the efficacy of our model. We won the champion of the OpenImages Visual Relationship Detection Challenge on Kaggle, where we outperform the 2nd place by 5\% (20\% relatively). We believe an accurate scene graph generator is a fundamental stepping stone for higher-level vision-language tasks such as image captioning and visual QA, since it provides a semantic, structured comprehension of an image that is beyond pixels and objects.
This article describes the model we built that achieved 1st place in the OpenImage Visual Relationship Detection Challenge on Kaggle. Three key factors contribute the most to our success: 1) language bias is a powerful baseline for this task. We build the empirical distribution $P(predicate|subject,object)$ in the training set and directly use that in testing. This baseline achieved the 2nd place when submitted; 2) spatial features are as important as visual features, especially for spatial relationships such as "under" and "inside of"; 3) It is a very effective way to fuse different features by first building separate modules for each of them, then adding their output logits before the final softmax layer. We show in ablation study that each factor can improve the performance to a non-trivial extent, and the model reaches optimal when all of them are combined.
Most scene graph generators use a two-stage pipeline to detect visual relationships: the first stage detects entities, and the second predicts the predicate for each entity pair using a softmax distribution. We find that such pipelines, trained with only a cross entropy loss over predicate classes, suffer from two common errors. The first, Entity Instance Confusion, occurs when the model confuses multiple instances of the same type of entity (e.g. multiple cups). The second, Proximal Relationship Ambiguity, arises when multiple subject-predicate-object triplets appear in close proximity with the same predicate, and the model struggles to infer the correct subject-object pairings (e.g. mis-pairing musicians and their instruments). We propose a set of contrastive loss formulations that specifically target these types of errors within the scene graph generation problem, collectively termed the Graphical Contrastive Losses. These losses explicitly force the model to disambiguate related and unrelated instances through margin constraints specific to each type of confusion. We further construct a relationship detector, called RelDN, using the aforementioned pipeline to demonstrate the efficacy of our proposed losses. Our model outperforms the winning method of the OpenImages Relationship Detection Challenge by 4.7\% (16.5\% relative) on the test set. We also show improved results over the best previous methods on the Visual Genome and Visual Relationship Detection datasets.
We propose a novel approach for image segmentation that combines Neural Ordinary Differential Equations (NODEs) and the Level Set method. Our approach parametrizes the evolution of an initial contour with a NODE that implicitly learns from data a speed function describing the evolution. In addition, for cases where an initial contour is not available and to alleviate the need for careful choice or design of contour embedding functions, we propose a NODE-based method that evolves an image embedding into a dense per-pixel semantic label space. We evaluate our methods on kidney segmentation (KiTS19) and on salient object detection (PASCAL-S, ECSSD and HKU-IS). In addition to improving initial contours provided by deep learning models while using a fraction of their number of parameters, our approach achieves F scores that are higher than several state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms.
Unsupervised landmark learning is the task of learning semantic keypoint-like representations without the use of expensive input keypoint-level annotations. A popular approach is to factorize an image into a pose and appearance data stream, then to reconstruct the image from the factorized components. The pose representation should capture a set of consistent and tightly localized landmarks in order to facilitate reconstruction of the input image. Ultimately, we wish for our learned landmarks to focus on the foreground object of interest. However, the reconstruction task of the entire image forces the model to allocate landmarks to model the background. This work explores the effects of factorizing the reconstruction task into separate foreground and background reconstructions, conditioning only the foreground reconstruction on the unsupervised landmarks. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed factorization results in landmarks that are focused on the foreground object of interest. Furthermore, the rendered background quality is also improved, as the background rendering pipeline no longer requires the ill-suited landmarks to model its pose and appearance. We demonstrate this improvement in the context of the video-prediction task.
Video-to-video synthesis (vid2vid) aims at converting an input semantic video, such as videos of human poses or segmentation masks, to an output photorealistic video. While the state-of-the-art of vid2vid has advanced significantly, existing approaches share two major limitations. First, they are data-hungry. Numerous images of a target human subject or a scene are required for training. Second, a learned model has limited generalization capability. A pose-to-human vid2vid model can only synthesize poses of the single person in the training set. It does not generalize to other humans that are not in the training set. To address the limitations, we propose a few-shot vid2vid framework, which learns to synthesize videos of previously unseen subjects or scenes by leveraging few example images of the target at test time. Our model achieves this few-shot generalization capability via a novel network weight generation module utilizing an attention mechanism. We conduct extensive experimental validations with comparisons to strong baselines using several large-scale video datasets including human-dancing videos, talking-head videos, and street-scene videos. The experimental results verify the effectiveness of the proposed framework in addressing the two limitations of existing vid2vid approaches.
Prediction and interpolation for long-range video data involves the complex task of modeling motion trajectories for each visible object, occlusions and dis-occlusions, as well as appearance changes due to viewpoint and lighting. Optical flow based techniques generalize but are suitable only for short temporal ranges. Many methods opt to project the video frames to a low dimensional latent space, achieving long-range predictions. However, these latent representations are often non-interpretable, and therefore difficult to manipulate. This work poses video prediction and interpolation as unsupervised latent structure inference followed by a temporal prediction in this latent space. The latent representations capture foreground semantics without explicit supervision such as keypoints or poses. Further, as each landmark can be mapped to a coordinate indicating where a semantic part is positioned, we can reliably interpolate within the coordinate domain to achieve predictable motion interpolation. Given an image decoder capable of mapping these landmarks back to the image domain, we are able to achieve high-quality long-range video interpolation and extrapolation by operating on the landmark representation space.
We propose learning flexible but interpretable functions that aggregate a variable-length set of permutation-invariant feature vectors to predict a label. We use a deep lattice network model so we can architect the model structure to enhance interpretability, and add monotonicity constraints between inputs-and-outputs. We then use the proposed set function to automate the engineering of dense, interpretable features from sparse categorical features, which we call semantic feature engine. Experiments on real-world data show the achieved accuracy is similar to deep sets or deep neural networks, and is easier to debug and understand.
Existing deep learning based image inpainting methods use a standard convolutional network over the corrupted image, using convolutional filter responses conditioned on both valid pixels as well as the substitute values in the masked holes (typically the mean value). This often leads to artifacts such as color discrepancy and blurriness. Post-processing is usually used to reduce such artifacts, but are expensive and may fail. We propose the use of partial convolutions, where the convolution is masked and renormalized to be conditioned on only valid pixels. We further include a mechanism to automatically generate an updated mask for the next layer as part of the forward pass. Our model outperforms other methods for irregular masks. We show qualitative and quantitative comparisons with other methods to validate our approach.
Semantic segmentation requires large amounts of pixel-wise annotations to learn accurate models. In this paper, we present a video prediction-based methodology to scale up training sets by synthesizing new training samples in order to improve the accuracy of semantic segmentation networks. We exploit video prediction models' ability to predict future frames in order to also predict future labels. A joint propagation strategy is also proposed to alleviate mis-alignments in synthesized samples. We demonstrate that training segmentation models on datasets augmented by the synthesized samples leads to significant improvements in accuracy. Furthermore, we introduce a novel boundary label relaxation technique that makes training robust to annotation noise and propagation artifacts along object boundaries. Our proposed methods achieve state-of-the-art mIoUs of 83.5% on Cityscapes and 82.9% on CamVid. Our single model, without model ensembles, achieves 72.8% mIoU on the KITTI semantic segmentation test set, which surpasses the winning entry of the ROB challenge 2018. Our code and videos can be found at https://nv-adlr.github.io/publication/2018-Segmentation.
We present a new method for synthesizing high-resolution photo-realistic images from semantic label maps using conditional generative adversarial networks (conditional GANs). Conditional GANs have enabled a variety of applications, but the results are often limited to low-resolution and still far from realistic. In this work, we generate 2048x1024 visually appealing results with a novel adversarial loss, as well as new multi-scale generator and discriminator architectures. Furthermore, we extend our framework to interactive visual manipulation with two additional features. First, we incorporate object instance segmentation information, which enables object manipulations such as removing/adding objects and changing the object category. Second, we propose a method to generate diverse results given the same input, allowing users to edit the object appearance interactively. Human opinion studies demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms existing methods, advancing both the quality and the resolution of deep image synthesis and editing.
While emerging deep-learning systems have outclassed knowledge-based approaches in many tasks, their application to detection tasks for autonomous technologies remains an open field for scientific exploration. Broadly, there are two major developmental bottlenecks: the unavailability of comprehensively labeled datasets and of expressive evaluation strategies. Approaches for labeling datasets have relied on intensive hand-engineering, and strategies for evaluating learning systems have been unable to identify failure-case scenarios. Human intelligence offers an untapped approach for breaking through these bottlenecks. This paper introduces Driverseat, a technology for embedding crowds around learning systems for autonomous driving. Driverseat utilizes crowd contributions for (a) collecting complex 3D labels and (b) tagging diverse scenarios for ready evaluation of learning systems. We demonstrate how Driverseat can crowdstrap a convolutional neural network on the lane-detection task. More generally, crowdstrapping introduces a valuable paradigm for any technology that can benefit from leveraging the powerful combination of human and computer intelligence.
We study the problem of video-to-video synthesis, whose goal is to learn a mapping function from an input source video (e.g., a sequence of semantic segmentation masks) to an output photorealistic video that precisely depicts the content of the source video. While its image counterpart, the image-to-image synthesis problem, is a popular topic, the video-to-video synthesis problem is less explored in the literature. Without understanding temporal dynamics, directly applying existing image synthesis approaches to an input video often results in temporally incoherent videos of low visual quality. In this paper, we propose a novel video-to-video synthesis approach under the generative adversarial learning framework. Through carefully-designed generator and discriminator architectures, coupled with a spatio-temporal adversarial objective, we achieve high-resolution, photorealistic, temporally coherent video results on a diverse set of input formats including segmentation masks, sketches, and poses. Experiments on multiple benchmarks show the advantage of our method compared to strong baselines. In particular, our model is capable of synthesizing 2K resolution videos of street scenes up to 30 seconds long, which significantly advances the state-of-the-art of video synthesis. Finally, we apply our approach to future video prediction, outperforming several state-of-the-art competing systems.
We present an approach for high-resolution video frame prediction by conditioning on both past frames and past optical flows. Previous approaches rely on resampling past frames, guided by a learned future optical flow, or on direct generation of pixels. Resampling based on flow is insufficient because it cannot deal with disocclusions. Generative models currently lead to blurry results. Recent approaches synthesis a pixel by convolving input patches with a predicted kernel. However, their memory requirement increases with kernel size. Here, we spatially-displaced convolution (SDC) module for video frame prediction. We learn a motion vector and a kernel for each pixel and synthesize a pixel by applying the kernel at a displaced location in the source image, defined by the predicted motion vector. Our approach inherits the merits of both vector-based and kernel-based approaches, while ameliorating their respective disadvantages. We train our model on 428K unlabelled 1080p video game frames. Our approach produces state-of-the-art results, achieving an SSIM score of 0.904 on high-definition YouTube-8M videos, 0.918 on Caltech Pedestrian videos. Our model handles large motion effectively and synthesizes crisp frames with consistent motion.
In this paper, we present a simple yet effective padding scheme that can be used as a drop-in module for existing convolutional neural networks. We call it partial convolution based padding, with the intuition that the padded region can be treated as holes and the original input as non-holes. Specifically, during the convolution operation, the convolution results are re-weighted near image borders based on the ratios between the padded area and the convolution sliding window area. Extensive experiments with various deep network models on ImageNet classification and semantic segmentation demonstrate that the proposed padding scheme consistently outperforms standard zero padding with better accuracy.
Learning to synthesize high frame rate videos via interpolation requires large quantities of high frame rate training videos, which, however, are scarce, especially at high resolutions. Here, we propose unsupervised techniques to synthesize high frame rate videos directly from low frame rate videos using cycle consistency. For a triplet of consecutive frames, we optimize models to minimize the discrepancy between the center frame and its cycle reconstruction, obtained by interpolating back from interpolated intermediate frames. This simple unsupervised constraint alone achieves results comparable with supervision using the ground truth intermediate frames. We further introduce a pseudo supervised loss term that enforces the interpolated frames to be consistent with predictions of a pre-trained interpolation model. The pseudo supervised loss term, used together with cycle consistency, can effectively adapt a pre-trained model to a new target domain. With no additional data and in a completely unsupervised fashion, our techniques significantly improve pre-trained models on new target domains, increasing PSNR values from 32.84dB to 33.05dB on the Slowflow and from 31.82dB to 32.53dB on the Sintel evaluation datasets.
Numerous groups have applied a variety of deep learning techniques to computer vision problems in highway perception scenarios. In this paper, we presented a number of empirical evaluations of recent deep learning advances. Computer vision, combined with deep learning, has the potential to bring about a relatively inexpensive, robust solution to autonomous driving. To prepare deep learning for industry uptake and practical applications, neural networks will require large data sets that represent all possible driving environments and scenarios. We collect a large data set of highway data and apply deep learning and computer vision algorithms to problems such as car and lane detection. We show how existing convolutional neural networks (CNNs) can be used to perform lane and vehicle detection while running at frame rates required for a real-time system. Our results lend credence to the hypothesis that deep learning holds promise for autonomous driving.
The Low-Power Image Recognition Challenge (LPIRC, https://rebootingcomputing.ieee.org/lpirc) is an annual competition started in 2015. The competition identifies the best technologies that can classify and detect objects in images efficiently (short execution time and low energy consumption) and accurately (high precision). Over the four years, the winners' scores have improved more than 24 times. As computer vision is widely used in many battery-powered systems (such as drones and mobile phones), the need for low-power computer vision will become increasingly important. This paper summarizes LPIRC 2018 by describing the three different tracks and the winners' solutions.
Computer vision has achieved impressive progress in recent years. Meanwhile, mobile phones have become the primary computing platforms for millions of people. In addition to mobile phones, many autonomous systems rely on visual data for making decisions and some of these systems have limited energy (such as unmanned aerial vehicles also called drones and mobile robots). These systems rely on batteries and energy efficiency is critical. This article serves two main purposes: (1) Examine the state-of-the-art for low-power solutions to detect objects in images. Since 2015, the IEEE Annual International Low-Power Image Recognition Challenge (LPIRC) has been held to identify the most energy-efficient computer vision solutions. This article summarizes 2018 winners' solutions. (2) Suggest directions for research as well as opportunities for low-power computer vision.
Two-sided marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy and Taobao have two distinct groups of customers: buyers who use the platform to seek the most relevant and interesting item to purchase and sellers who view the same platform as a tool to reach out to their audience and grow their business. Additionally, platforms have their own objectives ranging from growing both buyer and seller user bases to revenue maximization. It is not difficult to see that it would be challenging to obtain a globally favorable outcome for all parties. Taking the search experience as an example, any interventions are likely to impact either buyers or sellers unfairly to course correct for a greater perceived need. In this paper, we address how a company-aligned search experience can be provided with competing business metrics that E-commerce companies typically tackle. As far as we know, this is a pioneering work to consider multiple different aspects of business indicators in two-sided marketplaces to optimize a search experience. We demonstrate that many problems are difficult or impossible to decompose down to credit assigned scores on individual documents, rendering traditional methods inadequate. Instead, we express market-level metrics as constraints and discuss to what degree multiple potentially conflicting metrics can be tuned to business needs. We further explore the use of policy learners in the form of Evolutionary Strategies to jointly optimize both group-level and market-level metrics simultaneously, side-stepping traditional cascading methods and manual interventions. We empirically evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed method on Etsy data and demonstrate its potential with insights.