Models, code, and papers for "Xiaodan Liang":
Action recognition is an important problem in multimedia understanding. This paper addresses this problem by building an expressive compositional action model. We model one action instance in the video with an ensemble of spatio-temporal compositions: a number of discrete temporal anchor frames, each of which is further decomposed to a layout of deformable parts. In this way, our model can identify a Spatio-Temporal And-Or Graph (STAOG) to represent the latent structure of actions e.g. triple jumping, swinging and high jumping. The STAOG model comprises four layers: (i) a batch of leaf-nodes in bottom for detecting various action parts within video patches; (ii) the or-nodes over bottom, i.e. switch variables to activate their children leaf-nodes for structural variability; (iii) the and-nodes within an anchor frame for verifying spatial composition; and (iv) the root-node at top for aggregating scores over temporal anchor frames. Moreover, the contextual interactions are defined between leaf-nodes in both spatial and temporal domains. For model training, we develop a novel weakly supervised learning algorithm which iteratively determines the structural configuration (e.g. the production of leaf-nodes associated with the or-nodes) along with the optimization of multi-layer parameters. By fully exploiting spatio-temporal compositions and interactions, our approach handles well large intra-class action variance (e.g. different views, individual appearances, spatio-temporal structures). The experimental results on the challenging databases demonstrate superior performance of our approach over other competing methods.
Semantic concept hierarchy is still under-explored for semantic segmentation due to the inefficiency and complicated optimization of incorporating structural inference into dense prediction. This lack of modeling semantic correlations also makes prior works must tune highly-specified models for each task due to the label discrepancy across datasets. It severely limits the generalization capability of segmentation models for open set concept vocabulary and annotation utilization. In this paper, we propose a Dynamic-Structured Semantic Propagation Network (DSSPN) that builds a semantic neuron graph by explicitly incorporating the semantic concept hierarchy into network construction. Each neuron represents the instantiated module for recognizing a specific type of entity such as a super-class (e.g. food) or a specific concept (e.g. pizza). During training, DSSPN performs the dynamic-structured neuron computation graph by only activating a sub-graph of neurons for each image in a principled way. A dense semantic-enhanced neural block is proposed to propagate the learned knowledge of all ancestor neurons into each fine-grained child neuron for feature evolving. Another merit of such semantic explainable structure is the ability of learning a unified model concurrently on diverse datasets by selectively activating different neuron sub-graphs for each annotation at each step. Extensive experiments on four public semantic segmentation datasets (i.e. ADE20K, COCO-Stuff, Cityscape and Mapillary) demonstrate the superiority of our DSSPN over state-of-the-art segmentation models. Moreoever, we demonstrate a universal segmentation model that is jointly trained on diverse datasets can surpass the performance of the common fine-tuning scheme for exploiting multiple domain knowledge.
Detecting pedestrian has been arguably addressed as a special topic beyond general object detection. Although recent deep learning object detectors such as Fast/Faster R-CNN [1, 2] have shown excellent performance for general object detection, they have limited success for detecting pedestrian, and previous leading pedestrian detectors were in general hybrid methods combining hand-crafted and deep convolutional features. In this paper, we investigate issues involving Faster R-CNN  for pedestrian detection. We discover that the Region Proposal Network (RPN) in Faster R-CNN indeed performs well as a stand-alone pedestrian detector, but surprisingly, the downstream classifier degrades the results. We argue that two reasons account for the unsatisfactory accuracy: (i) insufficient resolution of feature maps for handling small instances, and (ii) lack of any bootstrapping strategy for mining hard negative examples. Driven by these observations, we propose a very simple but effective baseline for pedestrian detection, using an RPN followed by boosted forests on shared, high-resolution convolutional feature maps. We comprehensively evaluate this method on several benchmarks (Caltech, INRIA, ETH, and KITTI), presenting competitive accuracy and good speed. Code will be made publicly available.
Explanation and high-order reasoning capabilities are crucial for real-world visual question answering with diverse levels of inference complexity (e.g., what is the dog that is near the girl playing with?) and important for users to understand and diagnose the trustworthiness of the system. Current VQA benchmarks on natural images with only an accuracy metric end up pushing the models to exploit the dataset biases and cannot provide any interpretable justification, which severally hinders advances in high-level question answering. In this work, we propose a new HVQR benchmark for evaluating explainable and high-order visual question reasoning ability with three distinguishable merits: 1) the questions often contain one or two relationship triplets, which requires the model to have the ability of multistep reasoning to predict plausible answers; 2) we provide an explicit evaluation on a multistep reasoning process that is constructed with image scene graphs and commonsense knowledge bases; and 3) each relationship triplet in a large-scale knowledge base only appears once among all questions, which poses challenges for existing networks that often attempt to overfit the knowledge base that already appears in the training set and enforces the models to handle unseen questions and knowledge fact usage. We also propose a new knowledge-routed modular network (KM-net) that incorporates the multistep reasoning process over a large knowledge base into visual question reasoning. An extensive dataset analysis and comparisons with existing models on the HVQR benchmark show that our benchmark provides explainable evaluations, comprehensive reasoning requirements and realistic challenges of VQA systems, as well as our KM-net's superiority in terms of accuracy and explanation ability.
(Unsupervised) Domain Adaptation (DA) seeks for classifying target instances when solely provided with source labeled and target unlabeled examples for training. Learning domain-invariant features helps to achieve this goal, whereas it underpins unlabeled samples drawn from a single or multiple explicit target domains (Multi-target DA). In this paper, we consider a more realistic transfer scenario: our target domain is comprised of multiple sub-targets implicitly blended with each other, so that learners could not identify which sub-target each unlabeled sample belongs to. This Blending-target Domain Adaptation (BTDA) scenario commonly appears in practice and threatens the validities of most existing DA algorithms, due to the presence of domain gaps and categorical misalignments among these hidden sub-targets. To reap the transfer performance gains in this new scenario, we propose Adversarial Meta-Adaptation Network (AMEAN). AMEAN entails two adversarial transfer learning processes. The first is a conventional adversarial transfer to bridge our source and mixed target domains. To circumvent the intra-target category misalignment, the second process presents as ``learning to adapt'': It deploys an unsupervised meta-learner receiving target data and their ongoing feature-learning feedbacks, to discover target clusters as our ``meta-sub-target'' domains. These meta-sub-targets auto-design our meta-sub-target DA loss, which empirically eliminates the implicit category mismatching in our mixed target. We evaluate AMEAN and a variety of DA algorithms in three benchmarks under the BTDA setup. Empirical results show that BTDA is a quite challenging transfer setup for most existing DA algorithms, yet AMEAN significantly outperforms these state-of-the-art baselines and effectively restrains the negative transfer effects in BTDA.
Collaborative reasoning for understanding each image-question pair is very critical but underexplored for an interpretable visual question answering system. Although very recent works also attempted to use explicit compositional processes to assemble multiple subtasks embedded in the questions, their models heavily rely on annotations or handcrafted rules to obtain valid reasoning processes, leading to either heavy workloads or poor performance on composition reasoning. In this paper, to better align image and language domains in diverse and unrestricted cases, we propose a novel neural network model that performs global reasoning on a dependency tree parsed from the question, and we thus phrase our model as parse-tree-guided reasoning network (PTGRN). This network consists of three collaborative modules: i) an attention module to exploit the local visual evidence for each word parsed from the question, ii) a gated residual composition module to compose the previously mined evidence, and iii) a parse-tree-guided propagation module to pass the mined evidence along the parse tree. Our PTGRN is thus capable of building an interpretable VQA system that gradually derives the image cues following a question-driven parse-tree reasoning route. Experiments on relational datasets demonstrate the superiority of our PTGRN over current state-of-the-art VQA methods, and the visualization results highlight the explainable capability of our reasoning system.
Beyond the existing single-person and multiple-person human parsing tasks in static images, this paper makes the first attempt to investigate a more realistic video instance-level human parsing that simultaneously segments out each person instance and parses each instance into more fine-grained parts (e.g., head, leg, dress). We introduce a novel Adaptive Temporal Encoding Network (ATEN) that alternatively performs temporal encoding among key frames and flow-guided feature propagation from other consecutive frames between two key frames. Specifically, ATEN first incorporates a Parsing-RCNN to produce the instance-level parsing result for each key frame, which integrates both the global human parsing and instance-level human segmentation into a unified model. To balance between accuracy and efficiency, the flow-guided feature propagation is used to directly parse consecutive frames according to their identified temporal consistency with key frames. On the other hand, ATEN leverages the convolution gated recurrent units (convGRU) to exploit temporal changes over a series of key frames, which are further used to facilitate the frame-level instance-level parsing. By alternatively performing direct feature propagation between consistent frames and temporal encoding network among key frames, our ATEN achieves a good balance between frame-level accuracy and time efficiency, which is a common crucial problem in video object segmentation research. To demonstrate the superiority of our ATEN, extensive experiments are conducted on the most popular video segmentation benchmark (DAVIS) and a newly collected Video Instance-level Parsing (VIP) dataset, which is the first video instance-level human parsing dataset comprised of 404 sequences and over 20k frames with instance-level and pixel-wise annotations.
Human parsing and pose estimation have recently received considerable interest due to their substantial application potentials. However, the existing datasets have limited numbers of images and annotations and lack a variety of human appearances and coverage of challenging cases in unconstrained environments. In this paper, we introduce a new benchmark named "Look into Person (LIP)" that provides a significant advancement in terms of scalability, diversity, and difficulty, which are crucial for future developments in human-centric analysis. This comprehensive dataset contains over 50,000 elaborately annotated images with 19 semantic part labels and 16 body joints, which are captured from a broad range of viewpoints, occlusions, and background complexities. Using these rich annotations, we perform detailed analyses of the leading human parsing and pose estimation approaches, thereby obtaining insights into the successes and failures of these methods. To further explore and take advantage of the semantic correlation of these two tasks, we propose a novel joint human parsing and pose estimation network to explore efficient context modeling, which can simultaneously predict parsing and pose with extremely high quality. Furthermore, we simplify the network to solve human parsing by exploring a novel self-supervised structure-sensitive learning approach, which imposes human pose structures into the parsing results without resorting to extra supervision. The dataset, code and models are available at http://www.sysu-hcp.net/lip/.
Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) have recently achieved significant improvement on paired/unpaired image-to-image translation, such as photo$\rightarrow$ sketch and artist painting style transfer. However, existing models can only be capable of transferring the low-level information (e.g. color or texture changes), but fail to edit high-level semantic meanings (e.g., geometric structure or content) of objects. On the other hand, while some researches can synthesize compelling real-world images given a class label or caption, they cannot condition on arbitrary shapes or structures, which largely limits their application scenarios and interpretive capability of model results. In this work, we focus on a more challenging semantic manipulation task, which aims to modify the semantic meaning of an object while preserving its own characteristics (e.g. viewpoints and shapes), such as cow$\rightarrow$sheep, motor$\rightarrow$ bicycle, cat$\rightarrow$dog. To tackle such large semantic changes, we introduce a contrasting GAN (contrast-GAN) with a novel adversarial contrasting objective. Instead of directly making the synthesized samples close to target data as previous GANs did, our adversarial contrasting objective optimizes over the distance comparisons between samples, that is, enforcing the manipulated data be semantically closer to the real data with target category than the input data. Equipped with the new contrasting objective, a novel mask-conditional contrast-GAN architecture is proposed to enable disentangle image background with object semantic changes. Experiments on several semantic manipulation tasks on ImageNet and MSCOCO dataset show considerable performance gain by our contrast-GAN over other conditional GANs. Quantitative results further demonstrate the superiority of our model on generating manipulated results with high visual fidelity and reasonable object semantics.
Despite progress in visual perception tasks such as image classification and detection, computers still struggle to understand the interdependency of objects in the scene as a whole, e.g., relations between objects or their attributes. Existing methods often ignore global context cues capturing the interactions among different object instances, and can only recognize a handful of types by exhaustively training individual detectors for all possible relationships. To capture such global interdependency, we propose a deep Variation-structured Reinforcement Learning (VRL) framework to sequentially discover object relationships and attributes in the whole image. First, a directed semantic action graph is built using language priors to provide a rich and compact representation of semantic correlations between object categories, predicates, and attributes. Next, we use a variation-structured traversal over the action graph to construct a small, adaptive action set for each step based on the current state and historical actions. In particular, an ambiguity-aware object mining scheme is used to resolve semantic ambiguity among object categories that the object detector fails to distinguish. We then make sequential predictions using a deep RL framework, incorporating global context cues and semantic embeddings of previously extracted phrases in the state vector. Our experiments on the Visual Relationship Detection (VRD) dataset and the large-scale Visual Genome dataset validate the superiority of VRL, which can achieve significantly better detection results on datasets involving thousands of relationship and attribute types. We also demonstrate that VRL is able to predict unseen types embedded in our action graph by learning correlations on shared graph nodes.
The aim of this study is to provide an automatic computational framework to assist clinicians in diagnosing Focal Liver Lesions (FLLs) in Contrast-Enhancement Ultrasound (CEUS). We represent FLLs in a CEUS video clip as an ensemble of Region-of-Interests (ROIs), whose locations are modeled as latent variables in a discriminative model. Different types of FLLs are characterized by both spatial and temporal enhancement patterns of the ROIs. The model is learned by iteratively inferring the optimal ROI locations and optimizing the model parameters. To efficiently search the optimal spatial and temporal locations of the ROIs, we propose a data-driven inference algorithm by combining effective spatial and temporal pruning. The experiments show that our method achieves promising results on the largest dataset in the literature (to the best of our knowledge), which we have made publicly available.
Although it has been widely discussed in video surveillance, background subtraction is still an open problem in the context of complex scenarios, e.g., dynamic backgrounds, illumination variations, and indistinct foreground objects. To address these challenges, we propose an effective background subtraction method by learning and maintaining an array of dynamic texture models within the spatio-temporal representations. At any location of the scene, we extract a sequence of regular video bricks, i.e. video volumes spanning over both spatial and temporal domain. The background modeling is thus posed as pursuing subspaces within the video bricks while adapting the scene variations. For each sequence of video bricks, we pursue the subspace by employing the ARMA (Auto Regressive Moving Average) Model that jointly characterizes the appearance consistency and temporal coherence of the observations. During online processing, we incrementally update the subspaces to cope with disturbances from foreground objects and scene changes. In the experiments, we validate the proposed method in several complex scenarios, and show superior performances over other state-of-the-art approaches of background subtraction. The empirical studies of parameter setting and component analysis are presented as well.
In the spectrum of vision-based autonomous driving, vanilla end-to-end models are not interpretable and suboptimal in performance, while mediated perception models require additional intermediate representations such as segmentation masks or detection bounding boxes, whose annotation can be prohibitively expensive as we move to a larger scale. More critically, all prior works fail to deal with the notorious domain shift if we were to merge data collected from different sources, which greatly hinders the model generalization ability. In this work, we address the above limitations by taking advantage of virtual data collected from driving simulators, and present DU-drive, an unsupervised real-to-virtual domain unification framework for end-to-end autonomous driving. It first transforms real driving data to its less complex counterpart in the virtual domain and then predicts vehicle control commands from the generated virtual image. Our framework has three unique advantages: 1) it maps driving data collected from a variety of source distributions into a unified domain, effectively eliminating domain shift; 2) the learned virtual representation is simpler than the input real image and closer in form to the "minimum sufficient statistic" for the prediction task, which relieves the burden of the compression phase while optimizing the information bottleneck tradeoff and leads to superior prediction performance; 3) it takes advantage of annotated virtual data which is unlimited and free to obtain. Extensive experiments on two public driving datasets and two driving simulators demonstrate the performance superiority and interpretive capability of DU-drive.
Autonomous urban driving navigation with complex multi-agent dynamics is under-explored due to the difficulty of learning an optimal driving policy. The traditional modular pipeline heavily relies on hand-designed rules and the pre-processing perception system while the supervised learning-based models are limited by the accessibility of extensive human experience. We present a general and principled Controllable Imitative Reinforcement Learning (CIRL) approach which successfully makes the driving agent achieve higher success rates based on only vision inputs in a high-fidelity car simulator. To alleviate the low exploration efficiency for large continuous action space that often prohibits the use of classical RL on challenging real tasks, our CIRL explores over a reasonably constrained action space guided by encoded experiences that imitate human demonstrations, building upon Deep Deterministic Policy Gradient (DDPG). Moreover, we propose to specialize adaptive policies and steering-angle reward designs for different control signals (i.e. follow, straight, turn right, turn left) based on the shared representations to improve the model capability in tackling with diverse cases. Extensive experiments on CARLA driving benchmark demonstrate that CIRL substantially outperforms all previous methods in terms of the percentage of successfully completed episodes on a variety of goal-directed driving tasks. We also show its superior generalization capability in unseen environments. To our knowledge, this is the first successful case of the learned driving policy through reinforcement learning in the high-fidelity simulator, which performs better-than supervised imitation learning.
The collaborative reasoning for understanding each image-question pair is very critical but under-explored for an interpretable Visual Question Answering (VQA) system. Although very recent works also tried the explicit compositional processes to assemble multiple sub-tasks embedded in the questions, their models heavily rely on the annotations or hand-crafted rules to obtain valid reasoning layout, leading to either heavy labor or poor performance on composition reasoning. In this paper, to enable global context reasoning for better aligning image and language domains in diverse and unrestricted cases, we propose a novel reasoning network called Adversarial Composition Modular Network (ACMN). This network comprises of two collaborative modules: i) an adversarial attention module to exploit the local visual evidence for each word parsed from the question; ii) a residual composition module to compose the previously mined evidence. Given a dependency parse tree for each question, the adversarial attention module progressively discovers salient regions of one word by densely combining regions of child word nodes in an adversarial manner. Then residual composition module merges the hidden representations of an arbitrary number of children through sum pooling and residual connection. Our ACMN is thus capable of building an interpretable VQA system that gradually dives the image cues following a question-driven reasoning route and makes global reasoning by incorporating the learned knowledge of all attention modules in a principled manner. Experiments on relational datasets demonstrate the superiority of our ACMN and visualization results show the explainable capability of our reasoning system.
3D human articulated pose recovery from monocular image sequences is very challenging due to the diverse appearances, viewpoints, occlusions, and also the human 3D pose is inherently ambiguous from the monocular imagery. It is thus critical to exploit rich spatial and temporal long-range dependencies among body joints for accurate 3D pose sequence prediction. Existing approaches usually manually design some elaborate prior terms and human body kinematic constraints for capturing structures, which are often insufficient to exploit all intrinsic structures and not scalable for all scenarios. In contrast, this paper presents a Recurrent 3D Pose Sequence Machine(RPSM) to automatically learn the image-dependent structural constraint and sequence-dependent temporal context by using a multi-stage sequential refinement. At each stage, our RPSM is composed of three modules to predict the 3D pose sequences based on the previously learned 2D pose representations and 3D poses: (i) a 2D pose module extracting the image-dependent pose representations, (ii) a 3D pose recurrent module regressing 3D poses and (iii) a feature adaption module serving as a bridge between module (i) and (ii) to enable the representation transformation from 2D to 3D domain. These three modules are then assembled into a sequential prediction framework to refine the predicted poses with multiple recurrent stages. Extensive evaluations on the Human3.6M dataset and HumanEva-I dataset show that our RPSM outperforms all state-of-the-art approaches for 3D pose estimation.
Recent advances in vision tasks (e.g., segmentation) highly depend on the availability of large-scale real-world image annotations obtained by cumbersome human labors. Moreover, the perception performance often drops significantly for new scenarios, due to the poor generalization capability of models trained on limited and biased annotations. In this work, we resort to transfer knowledge from automatically rendered scene annotations in virtual-world to facilitate real-world visual tasks. Although virtual-world annotations can be ideally diverse and unlimited, the discrepant data distributions between virtual and real-world make it challenging for knowledge transferring. We thus propose a novel Semantic-aware Grad-GAN (SG-GAN) to perform virtual-to-real domain adaption with the ability of retaining vital semantic information. Beyond the simple holistic color/texture transformation achieved by prior works, SG-GAN successfully personalizes the appearance adaption for each semantic region in order to preserve their key characteristic for better recognition. It presents two main contributions to traditional GANs: 1) a soft gradient-sensitive objective for keeping semantic boundaries; 2) a semantic-aware discriminator for validating the fidelity of personalized adaptions with respect to each semantic region. Qualitative and quantitative experiments demonstrate the superiority of our SG-GAN in scene adaption over state-of-the-art GANs. Further evaluations on semantic segmentation on Cityscapes show using adapted virtual images by SG-GAN dramatically improves segmentation performance than original virtual data. We release our code at https://github.com/Peilun-Li/SG-GAN.
Face hallucination is a domain-specific super-resolution problem with the goal to generate high-resolution (HR) faces from low-resolution (LR) input images. In contrast to existing methods that often learn a single patch-to-patch mapping from LR to HR images and are regardless of the contextual interdependency between patches, we propose a novel Attention-aware Face Hallucination (Attention-FH) framework which resorts to deep reinforcement learning for sequentially discovering attended patches and then performing the facial part enhancement by fully exploiting the global interdependency of the image. Specifically, in each time step, the recurrent policy network is proposed to dynamically specify a new attended region by incorporating what happened in the past. The state (i.e., face hallucination result for the whole image) can thus be exploited and updated by the local enhancement network on the selected region. The Attention-FH approach jointly learns the recurrent policy network and local enhancement network through maximizing the long-term reward that reflects the hallucination performance over the whole image. Therefore, our proposed Attention-FH is capable of adaptively personalizing an optimal searching path for each face image according to its own characteristic. Extensive experiments show our approach significantly surpasses the state-of-the-arts on in-the-wild faces with large pose and illumination variations.
Future frame prediction in videos is a promising avenue for unsupervised video representation learning. Video frames are naturally generated by the inherent pixel flows from preceding frames based on the appearance and motion dynamics in the video. However, existing methods focus on directly hallucinating pixel values, resulting in blurry predictions. In this paper, we develop a dual motion Generative Adversarial Net (GAN) architecture, which learns to explicitly enforce future-frame predictions to be consistent with the pixel-wise flows in the video through a dual-learning mechanism. The primal future-frame prediction and dual future-flow prediction form a closed loop, generating informative feedback signals to each other for better video prediction. To make both synthesized future frames and flows indistinguishable from reality, a dual adversarial training method is proposed to ensure that the future-flow prediction is able to help infer realistic future-frames, while the future-frame prediction in turn leads to realistic optical flows. Our dual motion GAN also handles natural motion uncertainty in different pixel locations with a new probabilistic motion encoder, which is based on variational autoencoders. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed dual motion GAN significantly outperforms state-of-the-art approaches on synthesizing new video frames and predicting future flows. Our model generalizes well across diverse visual scenes and shows superiority in unsupervised video representation learning.
Human parsing has recently attracted a lot of research interests due to its huge application potentials. However existing datasets have limited number of images and annotations, and lack the variety of human appearances and the coverage of challenging cases in unconstrained environment. In this paper, we introduce a new benchmark "Look into Person (LIP)" that makes a significant advance in terms of scalability, diversity and difficulty, a contribution that we feel is crucial for future developments in human-centric analysis. This comprehensive dataset contains over 50,000 elaborately annotated images with 19 semantic part labels, which are captured from a wider range of viewpoints, occlusions and background complexity. Given these rich annotations we perform detailed analyses of the leading human parsing approaches, gaining insights into the success and failures of these methods. Furthermore, in contrast to the existing efforts on improving the feature discriminative capability, we solve human parsing by exploring a novel self-supervised structure-sensitive learning approach, which imposes human pose structures into parsing results without resorting to extra supervision (i.e., no need for specifically labeling human joints in model training). Our self-supervised learning framework can be injected into any advanced neural networks to help incorporate rich high-level knowledge regarding human joints from a global perspective and improve the parsing results. Extensive evaluations on our LIP and the public PASCAL-Person-Part dataset demonstrate the superiority of our method.