Models, code, and papers for "Hao Tang":

Sequence Prediction with Neural Segmental Models

Jun 13, 2018
Hao Tang

Segments that span contiguous parts of inputs, such as phonemes in speech, named entities in sentences, actions in videos, occur frequently in sequence prediction problems. Segmental models, a class of models that explicitly hypothesizes segments, have allowed the exploration of rich segment features for sequence prediction. However, segmental models suffer from slow decoding, hampering the use of computationally expensive features. In this thesis, we introduce discriminative segmental cascades, a multi-pass inference framework that allows us to improve accuracy by adding higher-order features and neural segmental features while maintaining efficiency. We also show that instead of including more features to obtain better accuracy, segmental cascades can be used to speed up training and decoding. Segmental models, similarly to conventional speech recognizers, are typically trained in multiple stages. In the first stage, a frame classifier is trained with manual alignments, and then in the second stage, segmental models are trained with manual alignments and the out- puts of the frame classifier. However, obtaining manual alignments are time-consuming and expensive. We explore end-to-end training for segmental models with various loss functions, and show how end-to-end training with marginal log loss can eliminate the need for detailed manual alignments. We draw the connections between the marginal log loss and a popular end-to-end training approach called connectionist temporal classification. We present a unifying framework for various end-to-end graph search-based models, such as hidden Markov models, connectionist temporal classification, and segmental models. Finally, we discuss possible extensions of segmental models to large-vocabulary sequence prediction tasks.

* Thesis 

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On Training Recurrent Networks with Truncated Backpropagation Through Time in Speech Recognition

Oct 31, 2018
Hao Tang, James Glass

Recurrent neural networks have been the dominant models for many speech and language processing tasks. However, we understand little about the behavior and the class of functions recurrent networks can realize. Moreover, the heuristics used during training complicate the analyses. In this paper, we study recurrent networks' ability to learn long-term dependency in the context of speech recognition. We consider two decoding approaches, online and batch decoding, and show the classes of functions to which the decoding approaches correspond. We then draw a connection between batch decoding and a popular training approach for recurrent networks, truncated backpropagation through time. Changing the decoding approach restricts the amount of past history recurrent networks can use for prediction, allowing us to analyze their ability to remember. Empirically, we utilize long-term dependency in subphonetic states, phonemes, and words, and show how the design decisions, such as the decoding approach, lookahead, context frames, and consecutive prediction, characterize the behavior of recurrent networks. Finally, we draw a connection between Markov processes and vanishing gradients. These results have implications for studying the long-term dependency in speech data and how these properties are learned by recurrent networks.

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On The Inductive Bias of Words in Acoustics-to-Word Models

Oct 31, 2018
Hao Tang, James Glass

Acoustics-to-word models are end-to-end speech recognizers that use words as targets without relying on pronunciation dictionaries or graphemes. These models are notoriously difficult to train due to the lack of linguistic knowledge. It is also unclear how the amount of training data impacts the optimization and generalization of such models. In this work, we study the optimization and generalization of acoustics-to-word models under different amounts of training data. In addition, we study three types of inductive bias, leveraging a pronunciation dictionary, word boundary annotations, and constraints on word durations. We find that constraining word durations leads to the most improvement. Finally, we analyze the word embedding space learned by the model, and find that the space has a structure dominated by the pronunciation of words. This suggests that the contexts of words, instead of their phonetic structure, should be the future focus of inductive bias in acoustics-to-word models.

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Unified Generative Adversarial Networks for Controllable Image-to-Image Translation

Dec 12, 2019
Hao Tang, Hong Liu, Nicu Sebe

Controllable image-to-image translation, i.e., transferring an image from a source domain to a target one guided by controllable structures, has attracted much attention in both academia and industry. In this paper, we propose a unified Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) framework for controllable image-to-image translation. In addition to conditioning on a reference image, we show how the model can generate images conditioned on controllable structures, e.g., class labels, object keypoints, human skeletons and scene semantic maps. The proposed GAN framework consists of a single generator and a discriminator taking a conditional image and the target controllable structure as input. In this way, the conditional image can provide appearance information and the controllable structure can provide the structure information for generating the target result. Moreover, the proposed GAN learns the image-to-image mapping through three novel losses, i.e., color loss, controllable structure-guided cycle-consistency loss and controllable structure-guided self-identity preserving loss. Note that the proposed color loss handles the issue of "channel pollution" when back-propagating the gradients. In addition, we present the Fr\'echet ResNet Distance (FRD) to evaluate the quality of generated images. Extensive qualitative and quantitative experiments on two challenging image translation tasks with four different datasets demonstrate that the proposed GAN model generates convincing results, and significantly outperforms other state-of-the-art methods on both tasks. Meanwhile, the proposed GAN framework is a unified solution, thus it can be applied to solving other controllable structure-guided image-to-image translation tasks, such as landmark-guided facial expression translation and keypoint-guided person image generation.

* An extended version of a paper published in ACM MM 2018. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1808.04859. The source code, data and trained models are available at 

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Improving Semantic Segmentation of Aerial Images Using Patch-based Attention

Nov 20, 2019
Lei Ding, Hao Tang, Lorenzo Bruzzone

The trade-off between feature representation power and spatial localization accuracy is crucial for the dense classification/semantic segmentation of aerial images. High-level features extracted from the late layers of a neural network are rich in semantic information, yet have blurred spatial details; low-level features extracted from the early layers of a network contain more pixel-level information, but are isolated and noisy. It is therefore difficult to bridge the gap between high and low-level features due to their difference in terms of physical information content and spatial distribution. In this work, we contribute to solve this problem by enhancing the feature representation in two ways. On the one hand, a patch attention module (PAM) is proposed to enhance the embedding of context information based on a patch-wise calculation of local attention. On the other hand, an attention embedding module (AEM) is proposed to enrich the semantic information of low-level features by embedding local focus from high-level features. Both of the proposed modules are light-weight and can be applied to process the extracted features of convolutional neural networks (CNNs). Experiments show that, by integrating the proposed modules into the baseline Fully Convolutional Network (FCN), the resulting local attention network (LANet) greatly improves the performance over the baseline and outperforms other attention based methods on two aerial image datasets.

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Efficient meta reinforcement learning via meta goal generation

Nov 10, 2019
Haotian Fu, Hongyao Tang, Jianye Hao

Meta reinforcement learning (meta-RL) is able to accelerate the acquisition of new tasks by learning from past experience. Current meta-RL methods usually learn to adapt to new tasks by directly optimizing the parameters of policies over primitive actions. However, for complex tasks which requires sophisticated control strategies, it would be quite inefficient to to directly learn such a meta-policy. Moreover, this problem can become more severe and even fail in spare reward settings, which is quite common in practice. To this end, we propose a new meta-RL algorithm called meta goal-generation for hierarchical RL (MGHRL) by leveraging hierarchical actor-critic framework. Instead of directly generate policies over primitive actions for new tasks, MGHRL learns to generate high-level meta strategies over subgoals given past experience and leaves the rest of how to achieve subgoals as independent RL subtasks. Our empirical results on several challenging simulated robotics environments show that our method enables more efficient and effective meta-learning from past experience and outperforms state-of-the-art meta-RL and Hierarchical-RL methods in sparse reward settings.

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NoduleNet: Decoupled False Positive Reductionfor Pulmonary Nodule Detection and Segmentation

Jul 25, 2019
Hao Tang, Chupeng Zhang, Xiaohui Xie

Pulmonary nodule detection, false positive reduction and segmentation represent three of the most common tasks in the computeraided analysis of chest CT images. Methods have been proposed for eachtask with deep learning based methods heavily favored recently. However training deep learning models to solve each task separately may be sub-optimal - resource intensive and without the benefit of feature sharing. Here, we propose a new end-to-end 3D deep convolutional neural net (DCNN), called NoduleNet, to solve nodule detection, false positive reduction and nodule segmentation jointly in a multi-task fashion. To avoid friction between different tasks and encourage feature diversification, we incorporate two major design tricks: 1) decoupled feature maps for nodule detection and false positive reduction, and 2) a segmentation refinement subnet for increasing the precision of nodule segmentation. Extensive experiments on the large-scale LIDC dataset demonstrate that the multi-task training is highly beneficial, improving the nodule detection accuracy by 10.27%, compared to the baseline model trained to only solve the nodule detection task. We also carry out systematic ablation studies to highlight contributions from each of the added components. Code is available at

* Accepted to MICCAI 2019 

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Automatic Pulmonary Lobe Segmentation Using Deep Learning

Apr 10, 2019
Hao Tang, Chupeng Zhang, Xiaohui Xie

Pulmonary lobe segmentation is an important task for pulmonary disease related Computer Aided Diagnosis systems (CADs). Classical methods for lobe segmentation rely on successful detection of fissures and other anatomical information such as the location of blood vessels and airways. With the success of deep learning in recent years, Deep Convolutional Neural Network (DCNN) has been widely applied to analyze medical images like Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which, however, requires a large number of ground truth annotations. In this work, we release our manually labeled 50 CT scans which are randomly chosen from the LUNA16 dataset and explore the use of deep learning on this task. We propose pre-processing CT image by cropping region that is covered by the convex hull of the lungs in order to mitigate the influence of noise from outside the lungs. Moreover, we design a hybrid loss function with dice loss to tackle extreme class imbalance issue and focal loss to force model to focus on voxels that are hard to be discriminated. To validate the robustness and performance of our proposed framework trained with a small number of training examples, we further tested our model on CT scans from an independent dataset. Experimental results show the robustness of the proposed approach, which consistently improves performance across different datasets by a maximum of $5.87\%$ as compared to a baseline model.

* 2019 IEEE 16th International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2019) 

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Improving Dense Crowd Counting Convolutional Neural Networks using Inverse k-Nearest Neighbor Maps and Multiscale Upsampling

Mar 29, 2019
Greg Olmschenk, Hao Tang, Zhigang Zhu

Gatherings of thousands to millions of people frequently occur for an enormous variety of events, and automated counting of these high-density crowds is useful for safety, management, and measuring significance of an event. In this work, we show that the regularly accepted labeling scheme of crowd density maps for training deep neural networks is less effective than our alternative inverse k-nearest neighbor (i$k$NN) maps, even when used directly in existing state-of-the-art network structures. We also provide a new network architecture MUD-i$k$NN, which uses multi-scale upsampling via transposed convolutions to take full advantage of the provided i$k$NN labeling. This upsampling combined with the i$k$NN maps further improves crowd counting accuracy. Our new network architecture performs favorably in comparison with the state-of-the-art. However, our labeling and upsampling techniques are generally applicable to existing crowd counting architectures.

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An End-to-end Framework For Integrated Pulmonary Nodule Detection and False Positive Reduction

Mar 23, 2019
Hao Tang, Xingwei Liu, Xiaohui Xie

Pulmonary nodule detection using low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) is often the first step in lung disease screening and diagnosis. Recently, algorithms based on deep convolutional neural nets have shown great promise for automated nodule detection. Most of the existing deep learning nodule detection systems are constructed in two steps: a) nodule candidates screening and b) false positive reduction, using two different models trained separately. Although it is commonly adopted, the two-step approach not only imposes significant resource overhead on training two independent deep learning models, but also is sub-optimal because it prevents cross-talk between the two. In this work, we present an end-to-end framework for nodule detection, integrating nodule candidate screening and false positive reduction into one model, trained jointly. We demonstrate that the end-to-end system improves the performance by 3.88\% over the two-step approach, while at the same time reducing model complexity by one third and cutting inference time by 3.6 fold. Code will be made publicly available.

* 2019 IEEE 16th International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2019) 

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Generalizing semi-supervised generative adversarial networks to regression

Nov 27, 2018
Greg Olmschenk, Zhigang Zhu, Hao Tang

In this work, we generalize semi-supervised generative adversarial networks (GANs) from classification problems to regression problems. In the last few years, the importance of improving the training of neural networks using semi-supervised training has been demonstrated for classification problems. With probabilistic classification being a subset of regression problems, this generalization opens up many new possibilities for the use of semi-supervised GANs as well as presenting an avenue for a deeper understanding of how they function. We first demonstrate the capabilities of semi-supervised regression GANs on a toy dataset which allows for a detailed understanding of how they operate in various circumstances. This toy dataset is used to provide a theoretical basis of the semi-supervised regression GAN. We then apply the semi-supervised regression GANs to the real-world application of age estimation from single images. We perform extensive tests of what accuracies can be achieved with significantly reduced annotated data. Through the combination of the theoretical example and real-world scenario, we demonstrate how semi-supervised GANs can be generalized to regression problems.

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Frame-level speaker embeddings for text-independent speaker recognition and analysis of end-to-end model

Sep 12, 2018
Suwon Shon, Hao Tang, James Glass

In this paper, we propose a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) based speaker recognition model for extracting robust speaker embeddings. The embedding can be extracted efficiently with linear activation in the embedding layer. To understand how the speaker recognition model operates with text-independent input, we modify the structure to extract frame-level speaker embeddings from each hidden layer. We feed utterances from the TIMIT dataset to the trained network and use several proxy tasks to study the networks ability to represent speech input and differentiate voice identity. We found that the networks are better at discriminating broad phonetic classes than individual phonemes. In particular, frame-level embeddings that belong to the same phonetic classes are similar (based on cosine distance) for the same speaker. The frame level representation also allows us to analyze the networks at the frame level, and has the potential for other analyses to improve speaker recognition.

* Accepted at SLT 2018; Supplement materials: 

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Exocentric to Egocentric Image Generation via Parallel Generative Adversarial Network

Feb 08, 2020
Gaowen Liu, Hao Tang, Hugo Latapie, Yan Yan

Cross-view image generation has been recently proposed to generate images of one view from another dramatically different view. In this paper, we investigate exocentric (third-person) view to egocentric (first-person) view image generation. This is a challenging task since egocentric view sometimes is remarkably different from exocentric view. Thus, transforming the appearances across the two views is a non-trivial task. To this end, we propose a novel Parallel Generative Adversarial Network (P-GAN) with a novel cross-cycle loss to learn the shared information for generating egocentric images from exocentric view. We also incorporate a novel contextual feature loss in the learning procedure to capture the contextual information in images. Extensive experiments on the Exo-Ego datasets show that our model outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches.

* It has been accepted by ICASSP 2020 

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Attention-Guided Generative Adversarial Networks for Unsupervised Image-to-Image Translation

Apr 14, 2019
Hao Tang, Dan Xu, Nicu Sebe, Yan Yan

The state-of-the-art approaches in Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are able to learn a mapping function from one image domain to another with unpaired image data. However, these methods often produce artifacts and can only be able to convert low-level information, but fail to transfer high-level semantic part of images. The reason is mainly that generators do not have the ability to detect the most discriminative semantic part of images, which thus makes the generated images with low-quality. To handle the limitation, in this paper we propose a novel Attention-Guided Generative Adversarial Network (AGGAN), which can detect the most discriminative semantic object and minimize changes of unwanted part for semantic manipulation problems without using extra data and models. The attention-guided generators in AGGAN are able to produce attention masks via a built-in attention mechanism, and then fuse the input image with the attention mask to obtain a target image with high-quality. Moreover, we propose a novel attention-guided discriminator which only considers attended regions. The proposed AGGAN is trained by an end-to-end fashion with an adversarial loss, cycle-consistency loss, pixel loss and attention loss. Both qualitative and quantitative results demonstrate that our approach is effective to generate sharper and more accurate images than existing models.

* 8 pages, 7 figures, Accepted to IJCNN 2019 

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Automated pulmonary nodule detection using 3D deep convolutional neural networks

Mar 23, 2019
Hao Tang, Daniel R. Kim, Xiaohui Xie

Early detection of pulmonary nodules in computed tomography (CT) images is essential for successful outcomes among lung cancer patients. Much attention has been given to deep convolutional neural network (DCNN)-based approaches to this task, but models have relied at least partly on 2D or 2.5D components for inherently 3D data. In this paper, we introduce a novel DCNN approach, consisting of two stages, that is fully three-dimensional end-to-end and utilizes the state-of-the-art in object detection. First, nodule candidates are identified with a U-Net-inspired 3D Faster R-CNN trained using online hard negative mining. Second, false positive reduction is performed by 3D DCNN classifiers trained on difficult examples produced during candidate screening. Finally, we introduce a method to ensemble models from both stages via consensus to give the final predictions. By using this framework, we ranked first of 2887 teams in Season One of Alibaba's 2017 TianChi AI Competition for Healthcare.

* 2018 IEEE 15th International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2018) 

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Unsupervised Adaptation with Interpretable Disentangled Representations for Distant Conversational Speech Recognition

Jun 13, 2018
Wei-Ning Hsu, Hao Tang, James Glass

The current trend in automatic speech recognition is to leverage large amounts of labeled data to train supervised neural network models. Unfortunately, obtaining data for a wide range of domains to train robust models can be costly. However, it is relatively inexpensive to collect large amounts of unlabeled data from domains that we want the models to generalize to. In this paper, we propose a novel unsupervised adaptation method that learns to synthesize labeled data for the target domain from unlabeled in-domain data and labeled out-of-domain data. We first learn without supervision an interpretable latent representation of speech that encodes linguistic and nuisance factors (e.g., speaker and channel) using different latent variables. To transform a labeled out-of-domain utterance without altering its transcript, we transform the latent nuisance variables while maintaining the linguistic variables. To demonstrate our approach, we focus on a channel mismatch setting, where the domain of interest is distant conversational speech, and labels are only available for close-talking speech. Our proposed method is evaluated on the AMI dataset, outperforming all baselines and bridging the gap between unadapted and in-domain models by over 77% without using any parallel data.

* to appear in Interspeech 2018 

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Asymmetric Generative Adversarial Networks for Image-to-Image Translation

Dec 14, 2019
Hao Tang, Dan Xu, Hong Liu, Nicu Sebe

State-of-the-art models for unpaired image-to-image translation with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) can learn the mapping from the source domain to the target domain using a cycle-consistency loss. The intuition behind these models is that if we translate from one domain to the other and back again we should arrive at where we started. However, existing methods always adopt a symmetric network architecture to learn both forward and backward cycles. Because of the task complexity and cycle input difference between the source and target image domains, the inequality in bidirectional forward-backward cycle translations is significant and the amount of information between two domains is different. In this paper, we analyze the limitation of the existing symmetric GAN models in asymmetric translation tasks, and propose an AsymmetricGAN model with both translation and reconstruction generators of unequal sizes and different parameter-sharing strategy to adapt to the asymmetric need in both unsupervised and supervised image-to-image translation tasks. Moreover, the training stage of existing methods has the common problem of model collapse that degrades the quality of the generated images, thus we explore different optimization losses for better training of AsymmetricGAN, and thus make image-to-image translation with higher consistency and better stability. Extensive experiments on both supervised and unsupervised generative tasks with several publicly available datasets demonstrate that the proposed AsymmetricGAN achieves superior model capacity and better generation performance compared with existing GAN models. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to investigate the asymmetric GAN framework on both unsupervised and supervised image-to-image translation tasks. The source code, data and trained models are available at

* An extended version of a paper published in ACCV2018. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1901.04604 

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