Research papers and code for "Xiaolong Wang":
How do humans recognize the action "opening a book" ? We argue that there are two important cues: modeling temporal shape dynamics and modeling functional relationships between humans and objects. In this paper, we propose to represent videos as space-time region graphs which capture these two important cues. Our graph nodes are defined by the object region proposals from different frames in a long range video. These nodes are connected by two types of relations: (i) similarity relations capturing the long range dependencies between correlated objects and (ii) spatial-temporal relations capturing the interactions between nearby objects. We perform reasoning on this graph representation via Graph Convolutional Networks. We achieve state-of-the-art results on both Charades and Something-Something datasets. Especially for Charades, we obtain a huge 4.4% gain when our model is applied in complex environments.

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Current generative frameworks use end-to-end learning and generate images by sampling from uniform noise distribution. However, these approaches ignore the most basic principle of image formation: images are product of: (a) Structure: the underlying 3D model; (b) Style: the texture mapped onto structure. In this paper, we factorize the image generation process and propose Style and Structure Generative Adversarial Network (S^2-GAN). Our S^2-GAN has two components: the Structure-GAN generates a surface normal map; the Style-GAN takes the surface normal map as input and generates the 2D image. Apart from a real vs. generated loss function, we use an additional loss with computed surface normals from generated images. The two GANs are first trained independently, and then merged together via joint learning. We show our S^2-GAN model is interpretable, generates more realistic images and can be used to learn unsupervised RGBD representations.

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Is strong supervision necessary for learning a good visual representation? Do we really need millions of semantically-labeled images to train a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN)? In this paper, we present a simple yet surprisingly powerful approach for unsupervised learning of CNN. Specifically, we use hundreds of thousands of unlabeled videos from the web to learn visual representations. Our key idea is that visual tracking provides the supervision. That is, two patches connected by a track should have similar visual representation in deep feature space since they probably belong to the same object or object part. We design a Siamese-triplet network with a ranking loss function to train this CNN representation. Without using a single image from ImageNet, just using 100K unlabeled videos and the VOC 2012 dataset, we train an ensemble of unsupervised networks that achieves 52% mAP (no bounding box regression). This performance comes tantalizingly close to its ImageNet-supervised counterpart, an ensemble which achieves a mAP of 54.4%. We also show that our unsupervised network can perform competitively in other tasks such as surface-normal estimation.

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This paper studies a novel discriminative part-based model to represent and recognize object shapes with an "And-Or graph". We define this model consisting of three layers: the leaf-nodes with collaborative edges for localizing local parts, the or-nodes specifying the switch of leaf-nodes, and the root-node encoding the global verification. A discriminative learning algorithm, extended from the CCCP [23], is proposed to train the model in a dynamical manner: the model structure (e.g., the configuration of the leaf-nodes associated with the or-nodes) is automatically determined with optimizing the multi-layer parameters during the iteration. The advantages of our method are two-fold. (i) The And-Or graph model enables us to handle well large intra-class variance and background clutters for object shape detection from images. (ii) The proposed learning algorithm is able to obtain the And-Or graph representation without requiring elaborate supervision and initialization. We validate the proposed method on several challenging databases (e.g., INRIA-Horse, ETHZ-Shape, and UIUC-People), and it outperforms the state-of-the-arts approaches.

* Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (pp. 242-250), 2014
* 9 pages, 4 figures, NIPS 2012
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Learning visual representations with self-supervised learning has become popular in computer vision. The idea is to design auxiliary tasks where labels are free to obtain. Most of these tasks end up providing data to learn specific kinds of invariance useful for recognition. In this paper, we propose to exploit different self-supervised approaches to learn representations invariant to (i) inter-instance variations (two objects in the same class should have similar features) and (ii) intra-instance variations (viewpoint, pose, deformations, illumination, etc). Instead of combining two approaches with multi-task learning, we argue to organize and reason the data with multiple variations. Specifically, we propose to generate a graph with millions of objects mined from hundreds of thousands of videos. The objects are connected by two types of edges which correspond to two types of invariance: "different instances but a similar viewpoint and category" and "different viewpoints of the same instance". By applying simple transitivity on the graph with these edges, we can obtain pairs of images exhibiting richer visual invariance. We use this data to train a Triplet-Siamese network with VGG16 as the base architecture and apply the learned representations to different recognition tasks. For object detection, we achieve 63.2% mAP on PASCAL VOC 2007 using Fast R-CNN (compare to 67.3% with ImageNet pre-training). For the challenging COCO dataset, our method is surprisingly close (23.5%) to the ImageNet-supervised counterpart (24.4%) using the Faster R-CNN framework. We also show that our network can perform significantly better than the ImageNet network in the surface normal estimation task.

* ICCV 2017
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How do we learn an object detector that is invariant to occlusions and deformations? Our current solution is to use a data-driven strategy -- collect large-scale datasets which have object instances under different conditions. The hope is that the final classifier can use these examples to learn invariances. But is it really possible to see all the occlusions in a dataset? We argue that like categories, occlusions and object deformations also follow a long-tail. Some occlusions and deformations are so rare that they hardly happen; yet we want to learn a model invariant to such occurrences. In this paper, we propose an alternative solution. We propose to learn an adversarial network that generates examples with occlusions and deformations. The goal of the adversary is to generate examples that are difficult for the object detector to classify. In our framework both the original detector and adversary are learned in a joint manner. Our experimental results indicate a 2.3% mAP boost on VOC07 and a 2.6% mAP boost on VOC2012 object detection challenge compared to the Fast-RCNN pipeline. We also release the code for this paper.

* CVPR 2017 Camera Ready
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We introduce a self-supervised method for learning visual correspondence from unlabeled video. The main idea is to use cycle-consistency in time as free supervisory signal for learning visual representations from scratch. At training time, our model learns a feature map representation to be useful for performing cycle-consistent tracking. At test time, we use the acquired representation to find nearest neighbors across space and time. We demonstrate the generalizability of the representation -- without finetuning -- across a range of visual correspondence tasks, including video object segmentation, keypoint tracking, and optical flow. Our approach outperforms previous self-supervised methods and performs competitively with strongly supervised methods.

* CVPR 2019 Oral. Project page: http://ajabri.github.io/timecycle
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In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in jointly modeling perception and action. At the core of this investigation is the idea of modeling affordances(Affordances are opportunities of interaction in the scene. In other words, it represents what actions can the object be used for). However, when it comes to predicting affordances, even the state of the art approaches still do not use any ConvNets. Why is that? Unlike semantic or 3D tasks, there still does not exist any large-scale dataset for affordances. In this paper, we tackle the challenge of creating one of the biggest dataset for learning affordances. We use seven sitcoms to extract a diverse set of scenes and how actors interact with different objects in the scenes. Our dataset consists of more than 10K scenes and 28K ways humans can interact with these 10K images. We also propose a two-step approach to predict affordances in a new scene. In the first step, given a location in the scene we classify which of the 30 pose classes is the likely affordance pose. Given the pose class and the scene, we then use a Variational Autoencoder (VAE) to extract the scale and deformation of the pose. The VAE allows us to sample the distribution of possible poses at test time. Finally, we show the importance of large-scale data in learning a generalizable and robust model of affordances.

* CVPR 2017, project page: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~xiaolonw/affordance.html
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We consider the problem of zero-shot recognition: learning a visual classifier for a category with zero training examples, just using the word embedding of the category and its relationship to other categories, which visual data are provided. The key to dealing with the unfamiliar or novel category is to transfer knowledge obtained from familiar classes to describe the unfamiliar class. In this paper, we build upon the recently introduced Graph Convolutional Network (GCN) and propose an approach that uses both semantic embeddings and the categorical relationships to predict the classifiers. Given a learned knowledge graph (KG), our approach takes as input semantic embeddings for each node (representing visual category). After a series of graph convolutions, we predict the visual classifier for each category. During training, the visual classifiers for a few categories are given to learn the GCN parameters. At test time, these filters are used to predict the visual classifiers of unseen categories. We show that our approach is robust to noise in the KG. More importantly, our approach provides significant improvement in performance compared to the current state-of-the-art results (from 2 ~ 3% on some metrics to whopping 20% on a few).

* CVPR 2018
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Deploying deep neural networks on mobile devices is a challenging task. Current model compression methods such as matrix decomposition effectively reduce the deployed model size, but still cannot satisfy real-time processing requirement. This paper first discovers that the major obstacle is the excessive execution time of non-tensor layers such as pooling and normalization without tensor-like trainable parameters. This motivates us to design a novel acceleration framework: DeepRebirth through "slimming" existing consecutive and parallel non-tensor and tensor layers. The layer slimming is executed at different substructures: (a) streamline slimming by merging the consecutive non-tensor and tensor layer vertically; (b) branch slimming by merging non-tensor and tensor branches horizontally. The proposed optimization operations significantly accelerate the model execution and also greatly reduce the run-time memory cost since the slimmed model architecture contains less hidden layers. To maximally avoid accuracy loss, the parameters in new generated layers are learned with layer-wise fine-tuning based on both theoretical analysis and empirical verification. As observed in the experiment, DeepRebirth achieves more than 3x speed-up and 2.5x run-time memory saving on GoogLeNet with only 0.4% drop of top-5 accuracy on ImageNet. Furthermore, by combining with other model compression techniques, DeepRebirth offers an average of 65ms inference time on the CPU of Samsung Galaxy S6 with 86.5% top-5 accuracy, 14% faster than SqueezeNet which only has a top-5 accuracy of 80.5%.

* AAAI 2018
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Mainly for the sake of solving the lack of keyword-specific data, we propose one Keyword Spotting (KWS) system using Deep Neural Network (DNN) and Connectionist Temporal Classifier (CTC) on power-constrained small-footprint mobile devices, taking full advantage of general corpus from continuous speech recognition which is of great amount. DNN is to directly predict the posterior of phoneme units of any personally customized key-phrase, and CTC to produce a confidence score of the given phoneme sequence as responsive decision-making mechanism. The CTC-KWS has competitive performance in comparison with purely DNN based keyword specific KWS, but not increasing any computational complexity.

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What defines an action like "kicking ball"? We argue that the true meaning of an action lies in the change or transformation an action brings to the environment. In this paper, we propose a novel representation for actions by modeling an action as a transformation which changes the state of the environment before the action happens (precondition) to the state after the action (effect). Motivated by recent advancements of video representation using deep learning, we design a Siamese network which models the action as a transformation on a high-level feature space. We show that our model gives improvements on standard action recognition datasets including UCF101 and HMDB51. More importantly, our approach is able to generalize beyond learned action categories and shows significant performance improvement on cross-category generalization on our new ACT dataset.

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Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) achieve cutting-edge performance on a variety of problems. However, due to their high computational and memory demands, deploying RNNs on resource constrained mobile devices is a challenging task. To guarantee minimum accuracy loss with higher compression rate and driven by the mobile resource requirement, we introduce a novel model compression approach DirNet based on an optimized fast dictionary learning algorithm, which 1) dynamically mines the dictionary atoms of the projection dictionary matrix within layer to adjust the compression rate 2) adaptively changes the sparsity of sparse codes cross the hierarchical layers. Experimental results on language model and an ASR model trained with a 1000h speech dataset demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms prior approaches. Evaluated on off-the-shelf mobile devices, we are able to reduce the size of original model by eight times with real-time model inference and negligible accuracy loss.

* Accepted by IJCAI-ECAI 2018
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Both convolutional and recurrent operations are building blocks that process one local neighborhood at a time. In this paper, we present non-local operations as a generic family of building blocks for capturing long-range dependencies. Inspired by the classical non-local means method in computer vision, our non-local operation computes the response at a position as a weighted sum of the features at all positions. This building block can be plugged into many computer vision architectures. On the task of video classification, even without any bells and whistles, our non-local models can compete or outperform current competition winners on both Kinetics and Charades datasets. In static image recognition, our non-local models improve object detection/segmentation and pose estimation on the COCO suite of tasks. Code is available at https://github.com/facebookresearch/video-nonlocal-net .

* CVPR 2018, code is available at: https://github.com/facebookresearch/video-nonlocal-net
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With the fast development of Internet companies throughout the world, customer churn has become a serious concern. To better help the companies retain their customers, it is important to build a customer churn prediction model to identify the customers who are most likely to churn ahead of time. In this paper, we propose a Time-sensitive Customer Churn Prediction (TCCP) framework based on Positive and Unlabeled (PU) learning technique. Specifically, we obtain the recent data by shortening the observation period, and start to train model as long as enough positive samples are collected, ignoring the absence of the negative examples. We conduct thoroughly experiments on real industry data from Alipay.com. The experimental results demonstrate that TCCP outperforms the rule-based models and the traditional supervised learning models.

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The field of functional recognition or affordance estimation from images has seen a revival in recent years. As originally proposed by Gibson, the affordances of a scene were directly perceived from the ambient light: in other words, functional properties like sittable were estimated directly from incoming pixels. Recent work, however, has taken a mediated approach in which affordances are derived by first estimating semantics or geometry and then reasoning about the affordances. In a tribute to Gibson, this paper explores his theory of affordances as originally proposed. We propose two approaches for direct perception of affordances and show that they obtain good results and can out-perform mediated approaches. We hope this paper can rekindle discussion around direct perception and its implications in the long term.

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This paper aims at one newly raising task in vision and multimedia research: recognizing human actions from still images. Its main challenges lie in the large variations in human poses and appearances, as well as the lack of temporal motion information. Addressing these problems, we propose to develop an expressive deep model to naturally integrate human layout and surrounding contexts for higher level action understanding from still images. In particular, a Deep Belief Net is trained to fuse information from different noisy sources such as body part detection and object detection. To bridge the semantic gap, we used manually labeled data to greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the pre-training and fine-tuning stages of the DBN training. The resulting framework is shown to be robust to sometimes unreliable inputs (e.g., imprecise detections of human parts and objects), and outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches.

* 6 pages, 8 figures, ICME 2014
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In the past few years, convolutional neural nets (CNN) have shown incredible promise for learning visual representations. In this paper, we use CNNs for the task of predicting surface normals from a single image. But what is the right architecture we should use? We propose to build upon the decades of hard work in 3D scene understanding, to design new CNN architecture for the task of surface normal estimation. We show by incorporating several constraints (man-made, manhattan world) and meaningful intermediate representations (room layout, edge labels) in the architecture leads to state of the art performance on surface normal estimation. We also show that our network is quite robust and show state of the art results on other datasets as well without any fine-tuning.

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Kinship verification aims to identify the kin relation between two given face images. It is a very challenging problem due to the lack of training data and facial similarity variations between kinship pairs. In this work, we build a novel appearance and shape based deep learning pipeline. First we adopt the knowledge learned from general face recognition network to learn general facial features. Afterwards, we learn kinship oriented appearance and shape features from kinship pairs and combine them for the final prediction. We have evaluated the model performance on a widely used popular benchmark and demonstrated the superiority over the state-of-the-art.

* ICIP 2019
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With the rapid emergence of a spectrum of high-end mobile devices, many applications that required desktop-level computation capability formerly can now run on these devices without any problem. However, without a careful optimization, executing Deep Neural Networks (a key building block of the real-time video stream processing that is the foundation of many popular applications) is still challenging, specifically, if an extremely low latency or high accuracy inference is needed. This work presents CADNN, a programming framework to efficiently execute DNN on mobile devices with the help of advanced model compression (sparsity) and a set of thorough architecture-aware optimization. The evaluation result demonstrates that CADNN outperforms all the state-of-the-art dense DNN execution frameworks like TensorFlow Lite and TVM.

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