Research papers and code for "Raquel Urtasun":
In this paper we propose a novel approach to tracking by detection that can exploit both cameras as well as LIDAR data to produce very accurate 3D trajectories. Towards this goal, we formulate the problem as a linear program that can be solved exactly, and learn convolutional networks for detection as well as matching in an end-to-end manner. We evaluate our model in the challenging KITTI dataset and show very competitive results.

* Presented at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2018
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Most contemporary approaches to instance segmentation use complex pipelines involving conditional random fields, recurrent neural networks, object proposals, or template matching schemes. In our paper, we present a simple yet powerful end-to-end convolutional neural network to tackle this task. Our approach combines intuitions from the classical watershed transform and modern deep learning to produce an energy map of the image where object instances are unambiguously represented as basins in the energy map. We then perform a cut at a single energy level to directly yield connected components corresponding to object instances. Our model more than doubles the performance of the state-of-the-art on the challenging Cityscapes Instance Level Segmentation task.

Click to Read Paper and Get Code
This manuscripts contains the proofs for "A Primal-Dual Message-Passing Algorithm for Approximated Large Scale Structured Prediction".

Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Convolutional neural networks with many layers have recently been shown to achieve excellent results on many high-level tasks such as image classification, object detection and more recently also semantic segmentation. Particularly for semantic segmentation, a two-stage procedure is often employed. Hereby, convolutional networks are trained to provide good local pixel-wise features for the second step being traditionally a more global graphical model. In this work we unify this two-stage process into a single joint training algorithm. We demonstrate our method on the semantic image segmentation task and show encouraging results on the challenging PASCAL VOC 2012 dataset.

Click to Read Paper and Get Code
In this paper we tackle the problem of stereo image compression, and leverage the fact that the two images have overlapping fields of view to further compress the representations. Our approach leverages state-of-the-art single-image compression autoencoders and enhances the compression with novel parametric skip functions to feed fully differentiable, disparity-warped features at all levels to the encoder/decoder of the second image. Moreover, we model the probabilistic dependence between the image codes using a conditional entropy model. Our experiments show an impressive 30 - 50% reduction in the second image bitrate at low bitrates compared to deep single-image compression, and a 10 - 20% reduction at higher bitrates.

* Accepted at International Conference on Computer Vision 2019
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Detecting the intention of drivers is an essential task in self-driving, necessary to anticipate sudden events like lane changes and stops. Turn signals and emergency flashers communicate such intentions, providing seconds of potentially critical reaction time. In this paper, we propose to detect these signals in video sequences by using a deep neural network that reasons about both spatial and temporal information. Our experiments on more than a million frames show high per-frame accuracy in very challenging scenarios.

* To be presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2019
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
We address the problem of real-time 3D object detection from point clouds in the context of autonomous driving. Computation speed is critical as detection is a necessary component for safety. Existing approaches are, however, expensive in computation due to high dimensionality of point clouds. We utilize the 3D data more efficiently by representing the scene from the Bird's Eye View (BEV), and propose PIXOR, a proposal-free, single-stage detector that outputs oriented 3D object estimates decoded from pixel-wise neural network predictions. The input representation, network architecture, and model optimization are especially designed to balance high accuracy and real-time efficiency. We validate PIXOR on two datasets: the KITTI BEV object detection benchmark, and a large-scale 3D vehicle detection benchmark. In both datasets we show that the proposed detector surpasses other state-of-the-art methods notably in terms of Average Precision (AP), while still runs at >28 FPS.

* Update of CVPR2018 paper: correct timing, fix typos, add acknowledgement
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Neural architecture search (NAS) automatically finds the best task-specific neural network topology, outperforming many manual architecture designs. However, it can be prohibitively expensive as the search requires training thousands of different networks, while each can last for hours. In this work, we propose the Graph HyperNetwork (GHN) to amortize the search cost: given an architecture, it directly generates the weights by running inference on a graph neural network. GHNs model the topology of an architecture and therefore can predict network performance more accurately than regular hypernetworks and premature early stopping. To perform NAS, we randomly sample architectures and use the validation accuracy of networks with GHN generated weights as the surrogate search signal. GHNs are fast -- they can search nearly 10 times faster than other random search methods on CIFAR-10 and ImageNet. GHNs can be further extended to the anytime prediction setting, where they have found networks with better speed-accuracy tradeoff than the state-of-the-art manual designs.

Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Few-shot learning refers to understanding new concepts from only a few examples. We propose an information retrieval-inspired approach for this problem that is motivated by the increased importance of maximally leveraging all the available information in this low-data regime. We define a training objective that aims to extract as much information as possible from each training batch by effectively optimizing over all relative orderings of the batch points simultaneously. In particular, we view each batch point as a `query' that ranks the remaining ones based on its predicted relevance to them and we define a model within the framework of structured prediction to optimize mean Average Precision over these rankings. Our method achieves impressive results on the standard few-shot classification benchmarks while is also capable of few-shot retrieval.

Click to Read Paper and Get Code
We present a novel framework for generating pop music. Our model is a hierarchical Recurrent Neural Network, where the layers and the structure of the hierarchy encode our prior knowledge about how pop music is composed. In particular, the bottom layers generate the melody, while the higher levels produce the drums and chords. We conduct several human studies that show strong preference of our generated music over that produced by the recent method by Google. We additionally show two applications of our framework: neural dancing and karaoke, as well as neural story singing.

* under review at ICLR 2017
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Our aim is to provide a pixel-wise instance-level labeling of a monocular image in the context of autonomous driving. We build on recent work [Zhang et al., ICCV15] that trained a convolutional neural net to predict instance labeling in local image patches, extracted exhaustively in a stride from an image. A simple Markov random field model using several heuristics was then proposed in [Zhang et al., ICCV15] to derive a globally consistent instance labeling of the image. In this paper, we formulate the global labeling problem with a novel densely connected Markov random field and show how to encode various intuitive potentials in a way that is amenable to efficient mean field inference [Kr\"ahenb\"uhl et al., NIPS11]. Our potentials encode the compatibility between the global labeling and the patch-level predictions, contrast-sensitive smoothness as well as the fact that separate regions form different instances. Our experiments on the challenging KITTI benchmark [Geiger et al., CVPR12] demonstrate that our method achieves a significant performance boost over the baseline [Zhang et al., ICCV15].

Click to Read Paper and Get Code
In this work, we propose a novel way of efficiently localizing a soccer field from a single broadcast image of the game. Related work in this area relies on manually annotating a few key frames and extending the localization to similar images, or installing fixed specialized cameras in the stadium from which the layout of the field can be obtained. In contrast, we formulate this problem as a branch and bound inference in a Markov random field where an energy function is defined in terms of field cues such as grass, lines and circles. Moreover, our approach is fully automatic and depends only on single images from the broadcast video of the game. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method by applying it to various games and obtain promising results. Finally, we posit that our approach can be applied easily to other sports such as hockey and basketball.

Click to Read Paper and Get Code
One of the most popular approaches to multi-target tracking is tracking-by-detection. Current min-cost flow algorithms which solve the data association problem optimally have three main drawbacks: they are computationally expensive, they assume that the whole video is given as a batch, and they scale badly in memory and computation with the length of the video sequence. In this paper, we address each of these issues, resulting in a computationally and memory-bounded solution. First, we introduce a dynamic version of the successive shortest-path algorithm which solves the data association problem optimally while reusing computation, resulting in significantly faster inference than standard solvers. Second, we address the optimal solution to the data association problem when dealing with an incoming stream of data (i.e., online setting). Finally, we present our main contribution which is an approximate online solution with bounded memory and computation which is capable of handling videos of arbitrarily length while performing tracking in real time. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithms on the KITTI and PETS2009 benchmarks and show state-of-the-art performance, while being significantly faster than existing solvers.

Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Traditional multi-view learning approaches suffer in the presence of view disagreement,i.e., when samples in each view do not belong to the same class due to view corruption, occlusion or other noise processes. In this paper we present a multi-view learning approach that uses a conditional entropy criterion to detect view disagreement. Once detected, samples with view disagreement are filtered and standard multi-view learning methods can be successfully applied to the remaining samples. Experimental evaluation on synthetic and audio-visual databases demonstrates that the detection and filtering of view disagreement considerably increases the performance of traditional multi-view learning approaches.

* Appears in Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI2008)
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
In this paper, we propose a Deep Active Ray Network (DARNet) for automatic building segmentation. Taking an image as input, it first exploits a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) as the backbone to predict energy maps, which are further utilized to construct an energy function. A polygon-based contour is then evolved via minimizing the energy function, of which the minimum defines the final segmentation. Instead of parameterizing the contour using Euclidean coordinates, we adopt polar coordinates, i.e., rays, which not only prevents self-intersection but also simplifies the design of the energy function. Moreover, we propose a loss function that directly encourages the contours to match building boundaries. Our DARNet is trained end-to-end by back-propagating through the energy minimization and the backbone CNN, which makes the CNN adapt to the dynamics of the contour evolution. Experiments on three building instance segmentation datasets demonstrate our DARNet achieves either state-of-the-art or comparable performances to other competitors.

* CVPR 2019
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Deep neural networks have been shown to be very powerful modeling tools for many supervised learning tasks involving complex input patterns. However, they can also easily overfit to training set biases and label noises. In addition to various regularizers, example reweighting algorithms are popular solutions to these problems, but they require careful tuning of additional hyperparameters, such as example mining schedules and regularization hyperparameters. In contrast to past reweighting methods, which typically consist of functions of the cost value of each example, in this work we propose a novel meta-learning algorithm that learns to assign weights to training examples based on their gradient directions. To determine the example weights, our method performs a meta gradient descent step on the current mini-batch example weights (which are initialized from zero) to minimize the loss on a clean unbiased validation set. Our proposed method can be easily implemented on any type of deep network, does not require any additional hyperparameter tuning, and achieves impressive performance on class imbalance and corrupted label problems where only a small amount of clean validation data is available.

* 13 pages, ICML 2018
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Conventional deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) apply convolution operators uniformly in space across all feature maps for hundreds of layers - this incurs a high computational cost for real-time applications. For many problems such as object detection and semantic segmentation, we are able to obtain a low-cost computation mask, either from a priori problem knowledge, or from a low-resolution segmentation network. We show that such computation masks can be used to reduce computation in the high-resolution main network. Variants of sparse activation CNNs have previously been explored on small-scale tasks and showed no degradation in terms of object classification accuracy, but often measured gains in terms of theoretical FLOPs without realizing a practical speed-up when compared to highly optimized dense convolution implementations. In this work, we leverage the sparsity structure of computation masks and propose a novel tiling-based sparse convolution algorithm. We verified the effectiveness of our sparse CNN on LiDAR-based 3D object detection, and we report significant wall-clock speed-ups compared to dense convolution without noticeable loss of accuracy.

* 10 pages, CVPR 2018
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
Despite the substantial progress in recent years, the image captioning techniques are still far from being perfect.Sentences produced by existing methods, e.g. those based on RNNs, are often overly rigid and lacking in variability. This issue is related to a learning principle widely used in practice, that is, to maximize the likelihood of training samples. This principle encourages high resemblance to the "ground-truth" captions while suppressing other reasonable descriptions. Conventional evaluation metrics, e.g. BLEU and METEOR, also favor such restrictive methods. In this paper, we explore an alternative approach, with the aim to improve the naturalness and diversity -- two essential properties of human expression. Specifically, we propose a new framework based on Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks (CGAN), which jointly learns a generator to produce descriptions conditioned on images and an evaluator to assess how well a description fits the visual content. It is noteworthy that training a sequence generator is nontrivial. We overcome the difficulty by Policy Gradient, a strategy stemming from Reinforcement Learning, which allows the generator to receive early feedback along the way. We tested our method on two large datasets, where it performed competitively against real people in our user study and outperformed other methods on various tasks.

* accepted in ICCV2017 as an Oral paper
Click to Read Paper and Get Code
We propose an approach for semi-automatic annotation of object instances. While most current methods treat object segmentation as a pixel-labeling problem, we here cast it as a polygon prediction task, mimicking how most current datasets have been annotated. In particular, our approach takes as input an image crop and sequentially produces vertices of the polygon outlining the object. This allows a human annotator to interfere at any time and correct a vertex if needed, producing as accurate segmentation as desired by the annotator. We show that our approach speeds up the annotation process by a factor of 4.7 across all classes in Cityscapes, while achieving 78.4% agreement in IoU with original ground-truth, matching the typical agreement between human annotators. For cars, our speed-up factor is 7.3 for an agreement of 82.2%. We further show generalization capabilities of our approach to unseen datasets.

* CVPR 2017
Click to Read Paper and Get Code