Models, code, and papers for "Varun Jampani":

Semantic Video CNNs through Representation Warping

Aug 10, 2017
Raghudeep Gadde, Varun Jampani, Peter V. Gehler

In this work, we propose a technique to convert CNN models for semantic segmentation of static images into CNNs for video data. We describe a warping method that can be used to augment existing architectures with very little extra computational cost. This module is called NetWarp and we demonstrate its use for a range of network architectures. The main design principle is to use optical flow of adjacent frames for warping internal network representations across time. A key insight of this work is that fast optical flow methods can be combined with many different CNN architectures for improved performance and end-to-end training. Experiments validate that the proposed approach incurs only little extra computational cost, while improving performance, when video streams are available. We achieve new state-of-the-art results on the CamVid and Cityscapes benchmark datasets and show consistent improvements over different baseline networks. Our code and models will be available at

* ICCV 2017 

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Video Propagation Networks

Apr 11, 2017
Varun Jampani, Raghudeep Gadde, Peter V. Gehler

We propose a technique that propagates information forward through video data. The method is conceptually simple and can be applied to tasks that require the propagation of structured information, such as semantic labels, based on video content. We propose a 'Video Propagation Network' that processes video frames in an adaptive manner. The model is applied online: it propagates information forward without the need to access future frames. In particular we combine two components, a temporal bilateral network for dense and video adaptive filtering, followed by a spatial network to refine features and increased flexibility. We present experiments on video object segmentation and semantic video segmentation and show increased performance comparing to the best previous task-specific methods, while having favorable runtime. Additionally we demonstrate our approach on an example regression task of color propagation in a grayscale video.

* Appearing in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2017 (CVPR'17) 

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Learning Sparse High Dimensional Filters: Image Filtering, Dense CRFs and Bilateral Neural Networks

Nov 25, 2015
Varun Jampani, Martin Kiefel, Peter V. Gehler

Bilateral filters have wide spread use due to their edge-preserving properties. The common use case is to manually choose a parametric filter type, usually a Gaussian filter. In this paper, we will generalize the parametrization and in particular derive a gradient descent algorithm so the filter parameters can be learned from data. This derivation allows to learn high dimensional linear filters that operate in sparsely populated feature spaces. We build on the permutohedral lattice construction for efficient filtering. The ability to learn more general forms of high-dimensional filters can be used in several diverse applications. First, we demonstrate the use in applications where single filter applications are desired for runtime reasons. Further, we show how this algorithm can be used to learn the pairwise potentials in densely connected conditional random fields and apply these to different image segmentation tasks. Finally, we introduce layers of bilateral filters in CNNs and propose bilateral neural networks for the use of high-dimensional sparse data. This view provides new ways to encode model structure into network architectures. A diverse set of experiments empirically validates the usage of general forms of filters.

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Permutohedral Lattice CNNs

May 03, 2015
Martin Kiefel, Varun Jampani, Peter V. Gehler

This paper presents a convolutional layer that is able to process sparse input features. As an example, for image recognition problems this allows an efficient filtering of signals that do not lie on a dense grid (like pixel position), but of more general features (such as color values). The presented algorithm makes use of the permutohedral lattice data structure. The permutohedral lattice was introduced to efficiently implement a bilateral filter, a commonly used image processing operation. Its use allows for a generalization of the convolution type found in current (spatial) convolutional network architectures.

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Gated-SCNN: Gated Shape CNNs for Semantic Segmentation

Jul 12, 2019
Towaki Takikawa, David Acuna, Varun Jampani, Sanja Fidler

Current state-of-the-art methods for image segmentation form a dense image representation where the color, shape and texture information are all processed together inside a deep CNN. This however may not be ideal as they contain very different type of information relevant for recognition. Here, we propose a new two-stream CNN architecture for semantic segmentation that explicitly wires shape information as a separate processing branch, i.e. shape stream, that processes information in parallel to the classical stream. Key to this architecture is a new type of gates that connect the intermediate layers of the two streams. Specifically, we use the higher-level activations in the classical stream to gate the lower-level activations in the shape stream, effectively removing noise and helping the shape stream to only focus on processing the relevant boundary-related information. This enables us to use a very shallow architecture for the shape stream that operates on the image-level resolution. Our experiments show that this leads to a highly effective architecture that produces sharper predictions around object boundaries and significantly boosts performance on thinner and smaller objects. Our method achieves state-of-the-art performance on the Cityscapes benchmark, in terms of both mask (mIoU) and boundary (F-score) quality, improving by 2% and 4% over strong baselines.

* Project Website: 

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Efficient 2D and 3D Facade Segmentation using Auto-Context

Jun 21, 2016
Raghudeep Gadde, Varun Jampani, Renaud Marlet, Peter V. Gehler

This paper introduces a fast and efficient segmentation technique for 2D images and 3D point clouds of building facades. Facades of buildings are highly structured and consequently most methods that have been proposed for this problem aim to make use of this strong prior information. Contrary to most prior work, we are describing a system that is almost domain independent and consists of standard segmentation methods. We train a sequence of boosted decision trees using auto-context features. This is learned using stacked generalization. We find that this technique performs better, or comparable with all previous published methods and present empirical results on all available 2D and 3D facade benchmark datasets. The proposed method is simple to implement, easy to extend, and very efficient at test-time inference.

* 8 pages 

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The Informed Sampler: A Discriminative Approach to Bayesian Inference in Generative Computer Vision Models

Mar 07, 2015
Varun Jampani, Sebastian Nowozin, Matthew Loper, Peter V. Gehler

Computer vision is hard because of a large variability in lighting, shape, and texture; in addition the image signal is non-additive due to occlusion. Generative models promised to account for this variability by accurately modelling the image formation process as a function of latent variables with prior beliefs. Bayesian posterior inference could then, in principle, explain the observation. While intuitively appealing, generative models for computer vision have largely failed to deliver on that promise due to the difficulty of posterior inference. As a result the community has favoured efficient discriminative approaches. We still believe in the usefulness of generative models in computer vision, but argue that we need to leverage existing discriminative or even heuristic computer vision methods. We implement this idea in a principled way with an "informed sampler" and in careful experiments demonstrate it on challenging generative models which contain renderer programs as their components. We concentrate on the problem of inverting an existing graphics rendering engine, an approach that can be understood as "Inverse Graphics". The informed sampler, using simple discriminative proposals based on existing computer vision technology, achieves significant improvements of inference.

* Appearing in Computer Vision and Image Understanding Journal (Special Issue on Generative Models in Computer Vision) 

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Optical Flow with Semantic Segmentation and Localized Layers

Apr 11, 2016
Laura Sevilla-Lara, Deqing Sun, Varun Jampani, Michael J. Black

Existing optical flow methods make generic, spatially homogeneous, assumptions about the spatial structure of the flow. In reality, optical flow varies across an image depending on object class. Simply put, different objects move differently. Here we exploit recent advances in static semantic scene segmentation to segment the image into objects of different types. We define different models of image motion in these regions depending on the type of object. For example, we model the motion on roads with homographies, vegetation with spatially smooth flow, and independently moving objects like cars and planes with affine motion plus deviations. We then pose the flow estimation problem using a novel formulation of localized layers, which addresses limitations of traditional layered models for dealing with complex scene motion. Our semantic flow method achieves the lowest error of any published monocular method in the KITTI-2015 flow benchmark and produces qualitatively better flow and segmentation than recent top methods on a wide range of natural videos.

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Learning Propagation for Arbitrarily-structured Data

Sep 25, 2019
Sifei Liu, Xueting Li, Varun Jampani, Shalini De Mello, Jan Kautz

Processing an input signal that contains arbitrary structures, e.g., superpixels and point clouds, remains a big challenge in computer vision. Linear diffusion, an effective model for image processing, has been recently integrated with deep learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose to learn pairwise relations among data points in a global fashion to improve semantic segmentation with arbitrarily-structured data, through spatial generalized propagation networks (SGPN). The network propagates information on a group of graphs, which represent the arbitrarily-structured data, through a learned, linear diffusion process. The module is flexible to be embedded and jointly trained with many types of networks, e.g., CNNs. We experiment with semantic segmentation networks, where we use our propagation module to jointly train on different data -- images, superpixels and point clouds. We show that SGPN consistently improves the performance of both pixel and point cloud segmentation, compared to networks that do not contain this module. Our method suggests an effective way to model the global pairwise relations for arbitrarily-structured data.

* ICCV 2019 

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Superpixel Convolutional Networks using Bilateral Inceptions

Aug 08, 2016
Raghudeep Gadde, Varun Jampani, Martin Kiefel, Daniel Kappler, Peter V. Gehler

In this paper we propose a CNN architecture for semantic image segmentation. We introduce a new 'bilateral inception' module that can be inserted in existing CNN architectures and performs bilateral filtering, at multiple feature-scales, between superpixels in an image. The feature spaces for bilateral filtering and other parameters of the module are learned end-to-end using standard backpropagation techniques. The bilateral inception module addresses two issues that arise with general CNN segmentation architectures. First, this module propagates information between (super) pixels while respecting image edges, thus using the structured information of the problem for improved results. Second, the layer recovers a full resolution segmentation result from the lower resolution solution of a CNN. In the experiments, we modify several existing CNN architectures by inserting our inception module between the last CNN (1x1 convolution) layers. Empirical results on three different datasets show reliable improvements not only in comparison to the baseline networks, but also in comparison to several dense-pixel prediction techniques such as CRFs, while being competitive in time.

* European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2016 

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Superpixel Sampling Networks

Jul 26, 2018
Varun Jampani, Deqing Sun, Ming-Yu Liu, Ming-Hsuan Yang, Jan Kautz

Superpixels provide an efficient low/mid-level representation of image data, which greatly reduces the number of image primitives for subsequent vision tasks. Existing superpixel algorithms are not differentiable, making them difficult to integrate into otherwise end-to-end trainable deep neural networks. We develop a new differentiable model for superpixel sampling that leverages deep networks for learning superpixel segmentation. The resulting "Superpixel Sampling Network" (SSN) is end-to-end trainable, which allows learning task-specific superpixels with flexible loss functions and has fast runtime. Extensive experimental analysis indicates that SSNs not only outperform existing superpixel algorithms on traditional segmentation benchmarks, but can also learn superpixels for other tasks. In addition, SSNs can be easily integrated into downstream deep networks resulting in performance improvements.

* ECCV2018. Project URL: 

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Consensus Message Passing for Layered Graphical Models

Jan 26, 2015
Varun Jampani, S. M. Ali Eslami, Daniel Tarlow, Pushmeet Kohli, John Winn

Generative models provide a powerful framework for probabilistic reasoning. However, in many domains their use has been hampered by the practical difficulties of inference. This is particularly the case in computer vision, where models of the imaging process tend to be large, loopy and layered. For this reason bottom-up conditional models have traditionally dominated in such domains. We find that widely-used, general-purpose message passing inference algorithms such as Expectation Propagation (EP) and Variational Message Passing (VMP) fail on the simplest of vision models. With these models in mind, we introduce a modification to message passing that learns to exploit their layered structure by passing 'consensus' messages that guide inference towards good solutions. Experiments on a variety of problems show that the proposed technique leads to significantly more accurate inference results, not only when compared to standard EP and VMP, but also when compared to competitive bottom-up conditional models.

* Appearing in Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS) 2015 

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SENSE: a Shared Encoder Network for Scene-flow Estimation

Oct 27, 2019
Huaizu Jiang, Deqing Sun, Varun Jampani, Zhaoyang Lv, Erik Learned-Miller, Jan Kautz

We introduce a compact network for holistic scene flow estimation, called SENSE, which shares common encoder features among four closely-related tasks: optical flow estimation, disparity estimation from stereo, occlusion estimation, and semantic segmentation. Our key insight is that sharing features makes the network more compact, induces better feature representations, and can better exploit interactions among these tasks to handle partially labeled data. With a shared encoder, we can flexibly add decoders for different tasks during training. This modular design leads to a compact and efficient model at inference time. Exploiting the interactions among these tasks allows us to introduce distillation and self-supervised losses in addition to supervised losses, which can better handle partially labeled real-world data. SENSE achieves state-of-the-art results on several optical flow benchmarks and runs as fast as networks specifically designed for optical flow. It also compares favorably against the state of the art on stereo and scene flow, while consuming much less memory.

* International Conference on Computer Vision 2019 
* ICCV 2019 Oral 

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Pixel-Adaptive Convolutional Neural Networks

Apr 10, 2019
Hang Su, Varun Jampani, Deqing Sun, Orazio Gallo, Erik Learned-Miller, Jan Kautz

Convolutions are the fundamental building block of CNNs. The fact that their weights are spatially shared is one of the main reasons for their widespread use, but it also is a major limitation, as it makes convolutions content agnostic. We propose a pixel-adaptive convolution (PAC) operation, a simple yet effective modification of standard convolutions, in which the filter weights are multiplied with a spatially-varying kernel that depends on learnable, local pixel features. PAC is a generalization of several popular filtering techniques and thus can be used for a wide range of use cases. Specifically, we demonstrate state-of-the-art performance when PAC is used for deep joint image upsampling. PAC also offers an effective alternative to fully-connected CRF (Full-CRF), called PAC-CRF, which performs competitively, while being considerably faster. In addition, we also demonstrate that PAC can be used as a drop-in replacement for convolution layers in pre-trained networks, resulting in consistent performance improvements.

* CVPR 2019. Video introduction: 

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Competitive Collaboration: Joint Unsupervised Learning of Depth, Camera Motion, Optical Flow and Motion Segmentation

Oct 07, 2018
Anurag Ranjan, Varun Jampani, Kihwan Kim, Deqing Sun, Jonas Wulff, Michael J. Black

We address the unsupervised learning of several interconnected problems in low-level vision: single view depth prediction, camera motion estimation, optical flow and segmentation of a video into the static scene and moving regions. Our key insight is that these four fundamental vision problems are coupled and, consequently, learning to solve them together simplifies the problem because the solutions can reinforce each other by exploiting known geometric constraints. In order to model geometric constraints, we introduce Competitive Collaboration, a framework that facilitates competition and collaboration between neural networks. We go beyond previous work by exploiting geometry more explicitly and segmenting the scene into static and moving regions. Competitive Collaboration works much like expectation-maximization but with neural networks that act as adversaries, competing to explain pixels that correspond to static or moving regions, and as collaborators through a moderator that assigns pixels to be either static or independently moving. Our novel method integrates all these problems in a common framework and simultaneously reasons about the segmentation of the scene into moving objects and the static background, the camera motion, depth of the static scene structure, and the optical flow of moving objects. Our model is trained without any supervision and achieves state of the art results amongst unsupervised methods.

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SCOPS: Self-Supervised Co-Part Segmentation

May 03, 2019
Wei-Chih Hung, Varun Jampani, Sifei Liu, Pavlo Molchanov, Ming-Hsuan Yang, Jan Kautz

Parts provide a good intermediate representation of objects that is robust with respect to the camera, pose and appearance variations. Existing works on part segmentation is dominated by supervised approaches that rely on large amounts of manual annotations and can not generalize to unseen object categories. We propose a self-supervised deep learning approach for part segmentation, where we devise several loss functions that aids in predicting part segments that are geometrically concentrated, robust to object variations and are also semantically consistent across different object instances. Extensive experiments on different types of image collections demonstrate that our approach can produce part segments that adhere to object boundaries and also more semantically consistent across object instances compared to existing self-supervised techniques.

* Accepted in CVPR 2019. Project page: 

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Super SloMo: High Quality Estimation of Multiple Intermediate Frames for Video Interpolation

Jul 13, 2018
Huaizu Jiang, Deqing Sun, Varun Jampani, Ming-Hsuan Yang, Erik Learned-Miller, Jan Kautz

Given two consecutive frames, video interpolation aims at generating intermediate frame(s) to form both spatially and temporally coherent video sequences. While most existing methods focus on single-frame interpolation, we propose an end-to-end convolutional neural network for variable-length multi-frame video interpolation, where the motion interpretation and occlusion reasoning are jointly modeled. We start by computing bi-directional optical flow between the input images using a U-Net architecture. These flows are then linearly combined at each time step to approximate the intermediate bi-directional optical flows. These approximate flows, however, only work well in locally smooth regions and produce artifacts around motion boundaries. To address this shortcoming, we employ another U-Net to refine the approximated flow and also predict soft visibility maps. Finally, the two input images are warped and linearly fused to form each intermediate frame. By applying the visibility maps to the warped images before fusion, we exclude the contribution of occluded pixels to the interpolated intermediate frame to avoid artifacts. Since none of our learned network parameters are time-dependent, our approach is able to produce as many intermediate frames as needed. We use 1,132 video clips with 240-fps, containing 300K individual video frames, to train our network. Experimental results on several datasets, predicting different numbers of interpolated frames, demonstrate that our approach performs consistently better than existing methods.

* CVPR 2018 
* CVPR 2018 version with minor revisions and supplementary material included. Project page 

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On the Integration of Optical Flow and Action Recognition

Dec 22, 2017
Laura Sevilla-Lara, Yiyi Liao, Fatma Guney, Varun Jampani, Andreas Geiger, Michael J. Black

Most of the top performing action recognition methods use optical flow as a "black box" input. Here we take a deeper look at the combination of flow and action recognition, and investigate why optical flow is helpful, what makes a flow method good for action recognition, and how we can make it better. In particular, we investigate the impact of different flow algorithms and input transformations to better understand how these affect a state-of-the-art action recognition method. Furthermore, we fine tune two neural-network flow methods end-to-end on the most widely used action recognition dataset (UCF101). Based on these experiments, we make the following five observations: 1) optical flow is useful for action recognition because it is invariant to appearance, 2) optical flow methods are optimized to minimize end-point-error (EPE), but the EPE of current methods is not well correlated with action recognition performance, 3) for the flow methods tested, accuracy at boundaries and at small displacements is most correlated with action recognition performance, 4) training optical flow to minimize classification error instead of minimizing EPE improves recognition performance, and 5) optical flow learned for the task of action recognition differs from traditional optical flow especially inside the human body and at the boundary of the body. These observations may encourage optical flow researchers to look beyond EPE as a goal and guide action recognition researchers to seek better motion cues, leading to a tighter integration of the optical flow and action recognition communities.

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SPLATNet: Sparse Lattice Networks for Point Cloud Processing

May 09, 2018
Hang Su, Varun Jampani, Deqing Sun, Subhransu Maji, Evangelos Kalogerakis, Ming-Hsuan Yang, Jan Kautz

We present a network architecture for processing point clouds that directly operates on a collection of points represented as a sparse set of samples in a high-dimensional lattice. Naively applying convolutions on this lattice scales poorly, both in terms of memory and computational cost, as the size of the lattice increases. Instead, our network uses sparse bilateral convolutional layers as building blocks. These layers maintain efficiency by using indexing structures to apply convolutions only on occupied parts of the lattice, and allow flexible specifications of the lattice structure enabling hierarchical and spatially-aware feature learning, as well as joint 2D-3D reasoning. Both point-based and image-based representations can be easily incorporated in a network with such layers and the resulting model can be trained in an end-to-end manner. We present results on 3D segmentation tasks where our approach outperforms existing state-of-the-art techniques.

* Camera-ready, accepted to CVPR 2018 (oral); project website: 

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Switchable Temporal Propagation Network

May 04, 2018
Sifei Liu, Guangyu Zhong, Shalini De Mello, Jinwei Gu, Varun Jampani, Ming-Hsuan Yang, Jan Kautz

Videos contain highly redundant information between frames. Such redundancy has been extensively studied in video compression and encoding, but is less explored for more advanced video processing. In this paper, we propose a learnable unified framework for propagating a variety of visual properties of video images, including but not limited to color, high dynamic range (HDR), and segmentation information, where the properties are available for only a few key-frames. Our approach is based on a temporal propagation network (TPN), which models the transition-related affinity between a pair of frames in a purely data-driven manner. We theoretically prove two essential factors for TPN: (a) by regularizing the global transformation matrix as orthogonal, the "style energy" of the property can be well preserved during propagation; (b) such regularization can be achieved by the proposed switchable TPN with bi-directional training on pairs of frames. We apply the switchable TPN to three tasks: colorizing a gray-scale video based on a few color key-frames, generating an HDR video from a low dynamic range (LDR) video and a few HDR frames, and propagating a segmentation mask from the first frame in videos. Experimental results show that our approach is significantly more accurate and efficient than the state-of-the-art methods.

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