Research papers and code for "Manuel Günther":
Attribute recognition, particularly facial, extracts many labels for each image. While some multi-task vision problems can be decomposed into separate tasks and stages, e.g., training independent models for each task, for a growing set of problems joint optimization across all tasks has been shown to improve performance. We show that for deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) facial attribute extraction, multi-task optimization is better. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to apply joint optimization to DCNNs when training data is imbalanced, and re-balancing multi-label data directly is structurally infeasible, since adding/removing data to balance one label will change the sampling of the other labels. This paper addresses the multi-label imbalance problem by introducing a novel mixed objective optimization network (MOON) with a loss function that mixes multiple task objectives with domain adaptive re-weighting of propagated loss. Experiments demonstrate that not only does MOON advance the state of the art in facial attribute recognition, but it also outperforms independently trained DCNNs using the same data. When using facial attributes for the LFW face recognition task, we show that our balanced (domain adapted) network outperforms the unbalanced trained network.

* Post-print of manuscript accepted to the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) 2016 http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-46454-1_2
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Deep neural networks provide state-of-the-art performance on various tasks and are, therefore, widely used in real world applications. DNNs are becoming frequently utilized in biometrics for extracting deep features, which can be used in recognition systems for enrolling and recognizing new individuals. It was revealed that deep neural networks suffer from a fundamental problem, namely, they can unexpectedly misclassify examples formed by slightly perturbing correctly recognized inputs. Various approaches have been developed for generating these so-called adversarial examples, but they aim at attacking end-to-end networks. For biometrics, it is natural to ask whether systems using deep features are immune to or, at least, more resilient to attacks than end-to-end networks. In this paper, we introduce a general technique called the layerwise origin-target synthesis (LOTS) that can be efficiently used to form adversarial examples that mimic the deep features of the target. We analyze and compare the adversarial robustness of the end-to-end VGG Face network with systems that use Euclidean or cosine distance between gallery templates and extracted deep features. We demonstrate that iterative LOTS is very effective and show that systems utilizing deep features are easier to attack than the end-to-end network.

* Accepted to the International Joint Conference on Biometrics (IJCB) 2017
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Machine learning models, including state-of-the-art deep neural networks, are vulnerable to small perturbations that cause unexpected classification errors. This unexpected lack of robustness raises fundamental questions about their generalization properties and poses a serious concern for practical deployments. As such perturbations can remain imperceptible - the formed adversarial examples demonstrate an inherent inconsistency between vulnerable machine learning models and human perception - some prior work casts this problem as a security issue. Despite the significance of the discovered instabilities and ensuing research, their cause is not well understood and no effective method has been developed to address the problem. In this paper, we present a novel theory to explain why this unpleasant phenomenon exists in deep neural networks. Based on that theory, we introduce a simple, efficient, and effective training approach, Batch Adjusted Network Gradients (BANG), which significantly improves the robustness of machine learning models. While the BANG technique does not rely on any form of data augmentation or the utilization of adversarial images for training, the resultant classifiers are more resistant to adversarial perturbations while maintaining or even enhancing the overall classification performance.

* Accepted to the IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2018
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Deep neural networks (DNNs) provide state-of-the-art results on various tasks and are widely used in real world applications. However, it was discovered that machine learning models, including the best performing DNNs, suffer from a fundamental problem: they can unexpectedly and confidently misclassify examples formed by slightly perturbing otherwise correctly recognized inputs. Various approaches have been developed for efficiently generating these so-called adversarial examples, but those mostly rely on ascending the gradient of loss. In this paper, we introduce the novel logits optimized targeting system (LOTS) to directly manipulate deep features captured at the penultimate layer. Using LOTS, we analyze and compare the adversarial robustness of DNNs using the traditional Softmax layer with Openmax, which was designed to provide open set recognition by defining classes derived from deep representations, and is claimed to be more robust to adversarial perturbations. We demonstrate that Openmax provides less vulnerable systems than Softmax to traditional attacks, however, we show that it can be equally susceptible to more sophisticated adversarial generation techniques that directly work on deep representations.

* Accepted to British Machine Vision Conference (BMVC) 2017
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Facial attributes are soft-biometrics that allow limiting the search space, e.g., by rejecting identities with non-matching facial characteristics such as nose sizes or eyebrow shapes. In this paper, we investigate how the latest versions of deep convolutional neural networks, ResNets, perform on the facial attribute classification task. We test two loss functions: the sigmoid cross-entropy loss and the Euclidean loss, and find that for classification performance there is little difference between these two. Using an ensemble of three ResNets, we obtain the new state-of-the-art facial attribute classification error of 8.00% on the aligned images of the CelebA dataset. More significantly, we introduce the Alignment-Free Facial Attribute Classification Technique (AFFACT), a data augmentation technique that allows a network to classify facial attributes without requiring alignment beyond detected face bounding boxes. To our best knowledge, we are the first to report similar accuracy when using only the detected bounding boxes -- rather than requiring alignment based on automatically detected facial landmarks -- and who can improve classification accuracy with rotating and scaling test images. We show that this approach outperforms the CelebA baseline on unaligned images with a relative improvement of 36.8%.

* This is a pre-print of the original paper accepted for oral presentation at the International Joint Conference on Biometrics (IJCB) 2017
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Machine learning models are vulnerable to adversarial examples formed by applying small carefully chosen perturbations to inputs that cause unexpected classification errors. In this paper, we perform experiments on various adversarial example generation approaches with multiple deep convolutional neural networks including Residual Networks, the best performing models on ImageNet Large-Scale Visual Recognition Challenge 2015. We compare the adversarial example generation techniques with respect to the quality of the produced images, and measure the robustness of the tested machine learning models to adversarial examples. Finally, we conduct large-scale experiments on cross-model adversarial portability. We find that adversarial examples are mostly transferable across similar network topologies, and we demonstrate that better machine learning models are less vulnerable to adversarial examples.

* Accepted for publication at ICMLA 2016
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Agnostophobia, the fear of the unknown, can be experienced by deep learning engineers while applying their networks to real-world applications. Unfortunately, network behavior is not well defined for inputs far from a networks training set. In an uncontrolled environment, networks face many instances that are not of interest to them and have to be rejected in order to avoid a false positive. This problem has previously been tackled by researchers by either a) thresholding softmax, which by construction cannot return "none of the known classes", or b) using an additional background or garbage class. In this paper, we show that both of these approaches help, but are generally insufficient when previously unseen classes are encountered. We also introduce a new evaluation metric that focuses on comparing the performance of multiple approaches in scenarios where such unseen classes or unknowns are encountered. Our major contributions are simple yet effective Entropic Open-Set and Objectosphere losses that train networks using negative samples from some classes. These novel losses are designed to maximize entropy for unknown inputs while increasing separation in deep feature space by modifying magnitudes of known and unknown samples. Experiments on networks trained to classify classes from MNIST and CIFAR-10 show that our novel loss functions are significantly better at dealing with unknown inputs from datasets such as Devanagari, NotMNIST, CIFAR-100, and SVHN.

* Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) 2018
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For applications such as airport border control, biometric technologies that can process many capture subjects quickly, efficiently, with weak supervision, and with minimal discomfort are desirable. Facial recognition is particularly appealing because it is minimally invasive yet offers relatively good recognition performance. Unfortunately, the combination of weak supervision and minimal invasiveness makes even highly accurate facial recognition systems susceptible to spoofing via presentation attacks. Thus, there is great demand for an effective and low cost system capable of rejecting such attacks.To this end we introduce PARAPH -- a novel hardware extension that exploits different measurements of light polarization to yield an image space in which presentation media are readily discernible from Bona Fide facial characteristics. The PARAPH system is inexpensive with an added cost of less than 10 US dollars. The system makes two polarization measurements in rapid succession, allowing them to be approximately pixel-aligned, with a frame rate limited by the camera, not the system. There are no moving parts above the molecular level, due to the efficient use of twisted nematic liquid crystals. We present evaluation images using three presentation attack media next to an actual face -- high quality photos on glossy and matte paper and a video of the face on an LCD. In each case, the actual face in the image generated by PARAPH is structurally discernible from the presentations, which appear either as noise (print attacks) or saturated images (replay attacks).

* Accepted to CVPR 2016 Biometrics Workshop
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Facial attributes, emerging soft biometrics, must be automatically and reliably extracted from images in order to be usable in stand-alone systems. While recent methods extract facial attributes using deep neural networks (DNNs) trained on labeled facial attribute data, the robustness of deep attribute representations has not been evaluated. In this paper, we examine the representational stability of several approaches that recently advanced the state of the art on the CelebA benchmark by generating adversarial examples formed by adding small, non-random perturbations to inputs yielding altered classifications. We show that our fast flipping attribute (FFA) technique generates more adversarial examples than traditional algorithms, and that the adversarial robustness of DNNs varies highly between facial attributes. We also test the correlation of facial attributes and find that only for related attributes do the formed adversarial perturbations change the classification of others. Finally, we introduce the concept of natural adversarial samples, i.e., misclassified images where predictions can be corrected via small perturbations. We demonstrate that natural adversarial samples commonly occur and show that many of these images remain misclassified even with additional training epochs, even though their correct classification may require only a small adjustment to network parameters.

* Pattern Recognition Letters, 2017, ISSN 0167-8655
* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1605.05411
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Much research has been conducted on both face identification and face verification, with greater focus on the latter. Research on face identification has mostly focused on using closed-set protocols, which assume that all probe images used in evaluation contain identities of subjects that are enrolled in the gallery. Real systems, however, where only a fraction of probe sample identities are enrolled in the gallery, cannot make this closed-set assumption. Instead, they must assume an open set of probe samples and be able to reject/ignore those that correspond to unknown identities. In this paper, we address the widespread misconception that thresholding verification-like scores is a good way to solve the open-set face identification problem, by formulating an open-set face identification protocol and evaluating different strategies for assessing similarity. Our open-set identification protocol is based on the canonical labeled faces in the wild (LFW) dataset. Additionally to the known identities, we introduce the concepts of known unknowns (known, but uninteresting persons) and unknown unknowns (people never seen before) to the biometric community. We compare three algorithms for assessing similarity in a deep feature space under an open-set protocol: thresholded verification-like scores, linear discriminant analysis (LDA) scores, and an extreme value machine (EVM) probabilities. Our findings suggest that thresholding EVM probabilities, which are open-set by design, outperforms thresholding verification-like scores.

* Accepted for Publication in CVPR 2017 Biometrics Workshop
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As our professional, social, and financial existences become increasingly digitized and as our government, healthcare, and military infrastructures rely more on computer technologies, they present larger and more lucrative targets for malware. Stealth malware in particular poses an increased threat because it is specifically designed to evade detection mechanisms, spreading dormant, in the wild for extended periods of time, gathering sensitive information or positioning itself for a high-impact zero-day attack. Policing the growing attack surface requires the development of efficient anti-malware solutions with improved generalization to detect novel types of malware and resolve these occurrences with as little burden on human experts as possible. In this paper, we survey malicious stealth technologies as well as existing solutions for detecting and categorizing these countermeasures autonomously. While machine learning offers promising potential for increasingly autonomous solutions with improved generalization to new malware types, both at the network level and at the host level, our findings suggest that several flawed assumptions inherent to most recognition algorithms prevent a direct mapping between the stealth malware recognition problem and a machine learning solution. The most notable of these flawed assumptions is the closed world assumption: that no sample belonging to a class outside of a static training set will appear at query time. We present a formalized adaptive open world framework for stealth malware recognition and relate it mathematically to research from other machine learning domains.

* Pre-Print of a manuscript Accepted to IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials (COMST) on December 1, 2016
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Facial attributes are emerging soft biometrics that have the potential to reject non-matches, for example, based on mismatching gender. To be usable in stand-alone systems, facial attributes must be extracted from images automatically and reliably. In this paper, we propose a simple yet effective solution for automatic facial attribute extraction by training a deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) for each facial attribute separately, without using any pre-training or dataset augmentation, and we obtain new state-of-the-art facial attribute classification results on the CelebA benchmark. To test the stability of the networks, we generated adversarial images -- formed by adding imperceptible non-random perturbations to original inputs which result in classification errors -- via a novel fast flipping attribute (FFA) technique. We show that FFA generates more adversarial examples than other related algorithms, and that DCNNs for certain attributes are generally robust to adversarial inputs, while DCNNs for other attributes are not. This result is surprising because no DCNNs tested to date have exhibited robustness to adversarial images without explicit augmentation in the training procedure to account for adversarial examples. Finally, we introduce the concept of natural adversarial samples, i.e., images that are misclassified but can be easily turned into correctly classified images by applying small perturbations. We demonstrate that natural adversarial samples commonly occur, even within the training set, and show that many of these images remain misclassified even with additional training epochs. This phenomenon is surprising because correcting the misclassification, particularly when guided by training data, should require only a small adjustment to the DCNN parameters.

* Pre-print of article accepted to the International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR) 2016. 7 pages total
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Face detection and recognition benchmarks have shifted toward more difficult environments. The challenge presented in this paper addresses the next step in the direction of automatic detection and identification of people from outdoor surveillance cameras. While face detection has shown remarkable success in images collected from the web, surveillance cameras include more diverse occlusions, poses, weather conditions and image blur. Although face verification or closed-set face identification have surpassed human capabilities on some datasets, open-set identification is much more complex as it needs to reject both unknown identities and false accepts from the face detector. We show that unconstrained face detection can approach high detection rates albeit with moderate false accept rates. By contrast, open-set face recognition is currently weak and requires much more attention.

* This is an ERRATA version of the paper originally presented at the International Joint Conference on Biometrics. Due to a bug in our evaluation code, the results of the participants changed. The final conclusion, however, is still the same
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