Models, code, and papers for "Dahua Lin":
Collaborative filtering is an important technique for recommendation. Whereas it has been repeatedly shown to be effective in previous work, its performance remains unsatisfactory in many real-world applications, especially those where the items or users are highly diverse. In this paper, we explore an ensemble-based framework to enhance the capability of a recommender in handling diverse data. Specifically, we formulate a probabilistic model which integrates the items, the users, as well as the associations between them into a generative process. On top of this formulation, we further derive a progressive algorithm to construct an ensemble of collaborative filters. In each iteration, a new filter is derived from re-weighted entries and incorporated into the ensemble. It is noteworthy that while the algorithmic procedure of our algorithm is apparently similar to boosting, it is derived from an essentially different formulation and thus differs in several key technical aspects. We tested the proposed method on three large datasets, and observed substantial improvement over the state of the art, including L2Boost, an effective method based on boosting.
Sparsity inducing regularization is an important part for learning over-complete visual representations. Despite the popularity of $\ell_1$ regularization, in this paper, we investigate the usage of non-convex regularizations in this problem. Our contribution consists of three parts. First, we propose the leaky capped norm regularization (LCNR), which allows model weights below a certain threshold to be regularized more strongly as opposed to those above, therefore imposes strong sparsity and only introduces controllable estimation bias. We propose a majorization-minimization algorithm to optimize the joint objective function. Second, our study over monocular 3D shape recovery and neural networks with LCNR outperforms $\ell_1$ and other non-convex regularizations, achieving state-of-the-art performance and faster convergence. Third, we prove a theoretical global convergence speed on the 3D recovery problem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first convergence analysis of the 3D recovery problem.
Image captioning, a popular topic in computer vision, has achieved substantial progress in recent years. However, the distinctiveness of natural descriptions is often overlooked in previous work. It is closely related to the quality of captions, as distinctive captions are more likely to describe images with their unique aspects. In this work, we propose a new learning method, Contrastive Learning (CL), for image captioning. Specifically, via two constraints formulated on top of a reference model, the proposed method can encourage distinctiveness, while maintaining the overall quality of the generated captions. We tested our method on two challenging datasets, where it improves the baseline model by significant margins. We also showed in our studies that the proposed method is generic and can be used for models with various structures.
We consider the estimation of Dirichlet Process Mixture Models (DPMMs) in distributed environments, where data are distributed across multiple computing nodes. A key advantage of Bayesian nonparametric models such as DPMMs is that they allow new components to be introduced on the fly as needed. This, however, posts an important challenge to distributed estimation -- how to handle new components efficiently and consistently. To tackle this problem, we propose a new estimation method, which allows new components to be created locally in individual computing nodes. Components corresponding to the same cluster will be identified and merged via a probabilistic consolidation scheme. In this way, we can maintain the consistency of estimation with very low communication cost. Experiments on large real-world data sets show that the proposed method can achieve high scalability in distributed and asynchronous environments without compromising the mixing performance.
Specialized classifiers, namely those dedicated to a subset of classes, are often adopted in real-world recognition systems. However, integrating such classifiers is nontrivial. Existing methods, e.g. weighted average, usually implicitly assume that all constituents of an ensemble cover the same set of classes. Such methods can produce misleading predictions when used to combine specialized classifiers. This work explores a novel approach. Instead of combining predictions from individual classifiers directly, it first decomposes the predictions into sets of pairwise preferences, treating them as transition channels between classes, and thereon constructs a continuous-time Markov chain, and use the equilibrium distribution of this chain as the final prediction. This way allows us to form a coherent picture over all specialized predictions. On large public datasets, the proposed method obtains considerable improvement compared to mainstream ensemble methods, especially when the classifier coverage is highly unbalanced.
The estimation of advantage is crucial for a number of reinforcement learning algorithms, as it directly influences the choices of future paths. In this work, we propose a family of estimates based on the order statistics over the path ensemble, which allows one to flexibly drive the learning process, towards or against risks. On top of this formulation, we systematically study the impacts of different methods for estimating advantages. Our findings reveal that biased estimates, when chosen appropriately, can result in significant benefits. In particular, for the environments with sparse rewards, optimistic estimates would lead to more efficient exploration of the policy space; while for those where individual actions can have critical impacts, conservative estimates are preferable. On various benchmarks, including MuJoCo continuous control, Terrain locomotion, Atari games, and sparse-reward environments, the proposed biased estimation schemes consistently demonstrate improvement over mainstream methods, not only accelerating the learning process but also obtaining substantial performance gains.
Sounds provide rich semantics, complementary to visual data, for many tasks. However, in practice, sounds from multiple sources are often mixed together. In this paper we propose a novel framework, referred to as MinusPlus Network (MP-Net), for the task of visual sound separation. MP-Net separates sounds recursively in the order of average energy, removing the separated sound from the mixture at the end of each prediction, until the mixture becomes empty or contains only noise. In this way, MP-Net could be applied to sound mixtures with arbitrary numbers and types of sounds. Moreover, while MP-Net keeps removing sounds with large energy from the mixture, sounds with small energy could emerge and become clearer, so that the separation is more accurate. Compared to previous methods, MP-Net obtains state-of-the-art results on two large scale datasets, across mixtures with different types and numbers of sounds.
Mainstream captioning models often follow a sequential structure to generate captions, leading to issues such as introduction of irrelevant semantics, lack of diversity in the generated captions, and inadequate generalization performance. In this paper, we present an alternative paradigm for image captioning, which factorizes the captioning procedure into two stages: (1) extracting an explicit semantic representation from the given image; and (2) constructing the caption based on a recursive compositional procedure in a bottom-up manner. Compared to conventional ones, our paradigm better preserves the semantic content through an explicit factorization of semantics and syntax. By using the compositional generation procedure, caption construction follows a recursive structure, which naturally fits the properties of human language. Moreover, the proposed compositional procedure requires less data to train, generalizes better, and yields more diverse captions.
In real-world applications, e.g. law enforcement and video retrieval, one often needs to search a certain person in long videos with just one portrait. This is much more challenging than the conventional settings for person re-identification, as the search may need to be carried out in the environments different from where the portrait was taken. In this paper, we aim to tackle this challenge and propose a novel framework, which takes into account the identity invariance along a tracklet, thus allowing person identities to be propagated via both the visual and the temporal links. We also develop a novel scheme called Progressive Propagation via Competitive Consensus, which significantly improves the reliability of the propagation process. To promote the study of person search, we construct a large-scale benchmark, which contains 127K manually annotated tracklets from 192 movies. Experiments show that our approach remarkably outperforms mainstream person re-id methods, raising the mAP from 42.16% to 62.27%.
We present an efficient framework that can generate a coherent paragraph to describe a given video. Previous works on video captioning usually focus on video clips. They typically treat an entire video as a whole and generate the caption conditioned on a single embedding. On the contrary, we consider videos with rich temporal structures and aim to generate paragraph descriptions that can preserve the story flow while being coherent and concise. Towards this goal, we propose a new approach, which produces a descriptive paragraph by assembling temporally localized descriptions. Given a video, it selects a sequence of distinctive clips and generates sentences thereon in a coherent manner. Particularly, the selection of clips and the production of sentences are done jointly and progressively driven by a recurrent network -- what to describe next depends on what have been said before. Here, the recurrent network is learned via self-critical sequence training with both sentence-level and paragraph-level rewards. On the ActivityNet Captions dataset, our method demonstrated the capability of generating high-quality paragraph descriptions for videos. Compared to those by other methods, the descriptions produced by our method are often more relevant, more coherent, and more concise.
RNNs and their variants have been widely adopted for image captioning. In RNNs, the production of a caption is driven by a sequence of latent states. Existing captioning models usually represent latent states as vectors, taking this practice for granted. We rethink this choice and study an alternative formulation, namely using two-dimensional maps to encode latent states. This is motivated by the curiosity about a question: how the spatial structures in the latent states affect the resultant captions? Our study on MSCOCO and Flickr30k leads to two significant observations. First, the formulation with 2D states is generally more effective in captioning, consistently achieving higher performance with comparable parameter sizes. Second, 2D states preserve spatial locality. Taking advantage of this, we visually reveal the internal dynamics in the process of caption generation, as well as the connections between input visual domain and output linguistic domain.
Despite the great success of face recognition techniques, recognizing persons under unconstrained settings remains challenging. Issues like profile views, unfavorable lighting, and occlusions can cause substantial difficulties. Previous works have attempted to tackle this problem by exploiting the context, e.g. clothes and social relations. While showing promising improvement, they are usually limited in two important aspects, relying on simple heuristics to combine different cues and separating the construction of context from people identities. In this work, we aim to move beyond such limitations and propose a new framework to leverage context for person recognition. In particular, we propose a Region Attention Network, which is learned to adaptively combine visual cues with instance-dependent weights. We also develop a unified formulation, where the social contexts are learned along with the reasoning of people identities. These models substantially improve the robustness when working with the complex contextual relations in unconstrained environments. On two large datasets, PIPA and Cast In Movies (CIM), a new dataset proposed in this work, our method consistently achieves state-of-the-art performance under multiple evaluation policies.
Recent years have seen remarkable progress in semantic segmentation. Yet, it remains a challenging task to apply segmentation techniques to video-based applications. Specifically, the high throughput of video streams, the sheer cost of running fully convolutional networks, together with the low-latency requirements in many real-world applications, e.g. autonomous driving, present a significant challenge to the design of the video segmentation framework. To tackle this combined challenge, we develop a framework for video semantic segmentation, which incorporates two novel components: (1) a feature propagation module that adaptively fuses features over time via spatially variant convolution, thus reducing the cost of per-frame computation; and (2) an adaptive scheduler that dynamically allocate computation based on accuracy prediction. Both components work together to ensure low latency while maintaining high segmentation quality. On both Cityscapes and CamVid, the proposed framework obtained competitive performance compared to the state of the art, while substantially reducing the latency, from 360 ms to 119 ms.
Dynamics of human body skeletons convey significant information for human action recognition. Conventional approaches for modeling skeletons usually rely on hand-crafted parts or traversal rules, thus resulting in limited expressive power and difficulties of generalization. In this work, we propose a novel model of dynamic skeletons called Spatial-Temporal Graph Convolutional Networks (ST-GCN), which moves beyond the limitations of previous methods by automatically learning both the spatial and temporal patterns from data. This formulation not only leads to greater expressive power but also stronger generalization capability. On two large datasets, Kinetics and NTU-RGBD, it achieves substantial improvements over mainstream methods.
The quest for performant networks has been a significant force that drives the advancements of deep learning in recent years. While rewarding, improving network design has never been an easy journey. The large design space combined with the tremendous cost required for network training poses a major obstacle to this endeavor. In this work, we propose a new approach to this problem, namely, predicting the performance of a network before training, based on its architecture. Specifically, we develop a unified way to encode individual layers into vectors and bring them together to form an integrated description via LSTM. Taking advantage of the recurrent network's strong expressive power, this method can reliably predict the performances of various network architectures. Our empirical studies showed that it not only achieved accurate predictions but also produced consistent rankings across datasets -- a key desideratum in performance prediction.
Relationships among objects play a crucial role in image understanding. Despite the great success of deep learning techniques in recognizing individual objects, reasoning about the relationships among objects remains a challenging task. Previous methods often treat this as a classification problem, considering each type of relationship (e.g. "ride") or each distinct visual phrase (e.g. "person-ride-horse") as a category. Such approaches are faced with significant difficulties caused by the high diversity of visual appearance for each kind of relationships or the large number of distinct visual phrases. We propose an integrated framework to tackle this problem. At the heart of this framework is the Deep Relational Network, a novel formulation designed specifically for exploiting the statistical dependencies between objects and their relationships. On two large datasets, the proposed method achieves substantial improvement over state-of-the-art.
Markov Random Fields (MRFs), a formulation widely used in generative image modeling, have long been plagued by the lack of expressive power. This issue is primarily due to the fact that conventional MRFs formulations tend to use simplistic factors to capture local patterns. In this paper, we move beyond such limitations, and propose a novel MRF model that uses fully-connected neurons to express the complex interactions among pixels. Through theoretical analysis, we reveal an inherent connection between this model and recurrent neural networks, and thereon derive an approximated feed-forward network that couples multiple RNNs along opposite directions. This formulation combines the expressive power of deep neural networks and the cyclic dependency structure of MRF in a unified model, bringing the modeling capability to a new level. The feed-forward approximation also allows it to be efficiently learned from data. Experimental results on a variety of low-level vision tasks show notable improvement over state-of-the-arts.
Binary representation is desirable for its memory efficiency, computation speed and robustness. In this paper, we propose adjustable bounded rectifiers to learn binary representations for deep neural networks. While hard constraining representations across layers to be binary makes training unreasonably difficult, we softly encourage activations to diverge from real values to binary by approximating step functions. Our final representation is completely binary. We test our approach on MNIST, CIFAR10, and ILSVRC2012 dataset, and systematically study the training dynamics of the binarization process. Our approach can binarize the last layer representation without loss of performance and binarize all the layers with reasonably small degradations. The memory space that it saves may allow more sophisticated models to be deployed, thus compensating the loss. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to report results on current deep network architectures using complete binary middle representations. Given the learned representations, we find that the firing or inhibition of a binary neuron is usually associated with a meaningful interpretation across different classes. This suggests that the semantic structure of a neural network may be manifested through a guided binarization process.
It is a common paradigm in object detection frameworks to treat all samples equally and target at maximizing the performance on average. In this work, we revisit this paradigm through a careful study on how different samples contribute to the overall performance measured in terms of mAP. Our study suggests that the samples in each mini-batch are neither independent nor equally important, and therefore a better classifier on average does not necessarily mean higher mAP. Motivated by this study, we propose the notion of Prime Samples, those that play a key role in driving the detection performance. We further develop a simple yet effective sampling and learning strategy called PrIme Sample Attention (PISA) that directs the focus of the training process towards such samples. Our experiments demonstrate that it is often more effective to focus on prime samples than hard samples when training a detector. Particularly, On the MSCOCO dataset, PISA outperforms the random sampling baseline and hard mining schemes, e.g. OHEM and Focal Loss, consistently by more than 1% on both single-stage and two-stage detectors, with a strong backbone ResNeXt-101.
Neural net classifiers trained on data with annotated class labels can also capture apparent visual similarity among categories without being directed to do so. We study whether this observation can be extended beyond the conventional domain of supervised learning: Can we learn a good feature representation that captures apparent similarity among instances, instead of classes, by merely asking the feature to be discriminative of individual instances? We formulate this intuition as a non-parametric classification problem at the instance-level, and use noise-contrastive estimation to tackle the computational challenges imposed by the large number of instance classes. Our experimental results demonstrate that, under unsupervised learning settings, our method surpasses the state-of-the-art on ImageNet classification by a large margin. Our method is also remarkable for consistently improving test performance with more training data and better network architectures. By fine-tuning the learned feature, we further obtain competitive results for semi-supervised learning and object detection tasks. Our non-parametric model is highly compact: With 128 features per image, our method requires only 600MB storage for a million images, enabling fast nearest neighbour retrieval at the run time.