Robots will eventually be part of every household. It is thus critical to enable algorithms to learn from and be guided by non-expert users. In this paper, we bring a human in the loop, and enable a human teacher to give feedback to a learning agent in the form of natural language. We argue that a descriptive sentence can provide a much stronger learning signal than a numeric reward in that it can easily point to where the mistakes are and how to correct them. We focus on the problem of image captioning in which the quality of the output can easily be judged by non-experts. We propose a hierarchical phrase-based captioning model trained with policy gradients, and design a feedback network that provides reward to the learner by conditioning on the human-provided feedback. We show that by exploiting descriptive feedback our model learns to perform better than when given independently written human captions.
Apr 20 2017 cs.CV
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.
Recognizing arbitrary objects in the wild has been a challenging problem due to the limitations of existing classification models and datasets. In this paper, we propose a new task that aims at parsing scenes with a large and open vocabulary, and several evaluation metrics are explored for this problem. Our proposed approach to this problem is a joint image pixel and word concept embeddings framework, where word concepts are connected by semantic relations. We validate the open vocabulary prediction ability of our framework on ADE20K dataset which covers a wide variety of scenes and objects. We further explore the trained joint embedding space to show its interpretability.
Mar 20 2017 cs.CV
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.
Dec 02 2016 cs.CV
In this paper we introduce the TorontoCity benchmark, which covers the full greater Toronto area (GTA) with 712.5 $km^2$ of land, 8439 $km$ of road and around 400,000 buildings. Our benchmark provides different perspectives of the world captured from airplanes, drones and cars driving around the city. Manually labeling such a large scale dataset is infeasible. Instead, we propose to utilize different sources of high-precision maps to create our ground truth. Towards this goal, we develop algorithms that allow us to align all data sources with the maps while requiring minimal human supervision. We have designed a wide variety of tasks including building height estimation (reconstruction), road centerline and curb extraction, building instance segmentation, building contour extraction (reorganization), semantic labeling and scene type classification (recognition). Our pilot study shows that most of these tasks are still difficult for modern convolutional neural networks.
Nov 11 2016 cs.AI
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.
Nov 11 2016 cs.CL
Encoder-decoder models have been widely used to solve sequence to sequence prediction tasks. However current approaches suffer from two shortcomings. First, the encoders compute a representation of each word taking into account only the history of the words it has read so far, yielding suboptimal representations. Second, current decoders utilize large vocabularies in order to minimize the problem of unknown words, resulting in slow decoding times. In this paper we address both shortcomings. Towards this goal, we first introduce a simple mechanism that first reads the input sequence before committing to a representation of each word. Furthermore, we propose a simple copy mechanism that is able to exploit very small vocabularies and handle out-of-vocabulary words. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on the Gigaword dataset and DUC competition outperforming the state-of-the-art.
Aug 30 2016 cs.CV
The goal of this paper is to perform 3D object detection in the context of autonomous driving. Our method first aims at generating a set of high-quality 3D object proposals by exploiting stereo imagery. We formulate the problem as minimizing an energy function that encodes object size priors, placement of objects on the ground plane as well as several depth informed features that reason about free space, point cloud densities and distance to the ground. We then exploit a CNN on top of these proposals to perform object detection. In particular, we employ a convolutional neural net (CNN) that exploits context and depth information to jointly regress to 3D bounding box coordinates and object pose. Our experiments show significant performance gains over existing RGB and RGB-D object proposal methods on the challenging KITTI benchmark. When combined with the CNN, our approach outperforms all existing results in object detection and orientation estimation tasks for all three KITTI object classes. Furthermore, we experiment also with the setting where LIDAR information is available, and show that using both LIDAR and stereo leads to the best result.
Aug 22 2016 cs.CV
Scene parsing, or recognizing and segmenting objects and stuff in an image, is one of the key problems in computer vision. Despite the community's efforts in data collection, there are still few image datasets covering a wide range of scenes and object categories with dense and detailed annotations for scene parsing. In this paper, we introduce and analyze the ADE20K dataset, spanning diverse annotations of scenes, objects, parts of objects, and in some cases even parts of parts. A generic network design called Cascade Segmentation Module is then proposed to enable the segmentation networks to parse a scene into stuff, objects, and object parts in a cascade. We evaluate the proposed module integrated within two existing semantic segmentation networks, yielding significant improvements for scene parsing. We further show that the scene parsing networks trained on ADE20K can be applied to a wide variety of scenes and objects.
Jun 24 2016 cs.CV
In this paper we present a robust, efficient and affordable approach to self-localization which does not require neither GPS nor knowledge about the appearance of the world. Towards this goal, we utilize freely available cartographic maps and derive a probabilistic model that exploits semantic cues in the form of sun direction, presence of an intersection, road type, speed limit as well as the ego-car trajectory in order to produce very reliable localization results. Our experimental evaluation shows that our approach can localize much faster (in terms of driving time) with less computation and more robustly than competing approaches, which ignore semantic information.
Apr 12 2016 cs.CV
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.
Dec 22 2015 cs.CV
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 [Krähenbühl 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].
We introduce the MovieQA dataset which aims to evaluate automatic story comprehension from both video and text. The dataset consists of 14,944 questions about 408 movies with high semantic diversity. The questions range from simpler "Who" did "What" to "Whom", to "Why" and "How" certain events occurred. Each question comes with a set of five possible answers; a correct one and four deceiving answers provided by human annotators. Our dataset is unique in that it contains multiple sources of information -- video clips, plots, subtitles, scripts, and DVS. We analyze our data through various statistics and methods. We further extend existing QA techniques to show that question-answering with such open-ended semantics is hard. We make this data set public along with an evaluation benchmark to encourage inspiring work in this challenging domain.
Hypernymy, textual entailment, and image captioning can be seen as special cases of a single visual-semantic hierarchy over words, sentences, and images. In this paper we advocate for explicitly modeling the partial order structure of this hierarchy. Towards this goal, we introduce a general method for learning ordered representations, and show how it can be applied to a variety of tasks involving images and language. We show that the resulting representations improve performance over current approaches for hypernym prediction and image-caption retrieval.
We describe an approach for unsupervised learning of a generic, distributed sentence encoder. Using the continuity of text from books, we train an encoder-decoder model that tries to reconstruct the surrounding sentences of an encoded passage. Sentences that share semantic and syntactic properties are thus mapped to similar vector representations. We next introduce a simple vocabulary expansion method to encode words that were not seen as part of training, allowing us to expand our vocabulary to a million words. After training our model, we extract and evaluate our vectors with linear models on 8 tasks: semantic relatedness, paraphrase detection, image-sentence ranking, question-type classification and 4 benchmark sentiment and subjectivity datasets. The end result is an off-the-shelf encoder that can produce highly generic sentence representations that are robust and perform well in practice. We will make our encoder publicly available.
Books are a rich source of both fine-grained information, how a character, an object or a scene looks like, as well as high-level semantics, what someone is thinking, feeling and how these states evolve through a story. This paper aims to align books to their movie releases in order to provide rich descriptive explanations for visual content that go semantically far beyond the captions available in current datasets. To align movies and books we exploit a neural sentence embedding that is trained in an unsupervised way from a large corpus of books, as well as a video-text neural embedding for computing similarities between movie clips and sentences in the book. We propose a context-aware CNN to combine information from multiple sources. We demonstrate good quantitative performance for movie/book alignment and show several qualitative examples that showcase the diversity of tasks our model can be used for.
One of the main challenges in Zero-Shot Learning of visual categories is gathering semantic attributes to accompany images. Recent work has shown that learning from textual descriptions, such as Wikipedia articles, avoids the problem of having to explicitly define these attributes. We present a new model that can classify unseen categories from their textual description. Specifically, we use text features to predict the output weights of both the convolutional and the fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network (CNN). We take advantage of the architecture of CNNs and learn features at different layers, rather than just learning an embedding space for both modalities, as is common with existing approaches. The proposed model also allows us to automatically generate a list of pseudo- attributes for each visual category consisting of words from Wikipedia articles. We train our models end-to-end us- ing the Caltech-UCSD bird and flower datasets and evaluate both ROC and Precision-Recall curves. Our empirical results show that the proposed model significantly outperforms previous methods.
May 14 2015 cs.CV
In this paper we tackle the problem of instance-level segmentation and depth ordering from a single monocular image. Towards this goal, we take advantage of convolutional neural nets and train them to directly predict instance-level segmentations where the instance ID encodes the depth ordering within image patches. To provide a coherent single explanation of an image we develop a Markov random field which takes as input the predictions of convolutional neural nets applied at overlapping patches of different resolutions, as well as the output of a connected component algorithm. It aims to predict accurate instance-level segmentation and depth ordering. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on the challenging KITTI benchmark and show good performance on both tasks.
This paper proposes a novel framework for generating lingual descriptions of indoor scenes. Whereas substantial efforts have been made to tackle this problem, previous approaches focusing primarily on generating a single sentence for each image, which is not sufficient for describing complex scenes. We attempt to go beyond this, by generating coherent descriptions with multiple sentences. Our approach is distinguished from conventional ones in several aspects: (1) a 3D visual parsing system that jointly infers objects, attributes, and relations; (2) a generative grammar learned automatically from training text; and (3) a text generation algorithm that takes into account the coherence among sentences. Experiments on the augmented NYU-v2 dataset show that our framework can generate natural descriptions with substantially higher ROGUE scores compared to those produced by the baseline.
Feb 17 2015 cs.CV
In this paper, we propose an approach that exploits object segmentation in order to improve the accuracy of object detection. We frame the problem as inference in a Markov Random Field, in which each detection hypothesis scores object appearance as well as contextual information using Convolutional Neural Networks, and allows the hypothesis to choose and score a segment out of a large pool of accurate object segmentation proposals. This enables the detector to incorporate additional evidence when it is available and thus results in more accurate detections. Our experiments show an improvement of 4.1% in mAP over the R-CNN baseline on PASCAL VOC 2010, and 3.4% over the current state-of-the-art, demonstrating the power of our approach.
Feb 09 2015 cs.CV
The role of symmetry in computer vision has waxed and waned in importance during the evolution of the field from its earliest days. At first figuring prominently in support of bottom-up indexing, it fell out of favor as shape gave way to appearance and recognition gave way to detection. With a strong prior in the form of a target object, the role of the weaker priors offered by perceptual grouping was greatly diminished. However, as the field returns to the problem of recognition from a large database, the bottom-up recovery of the parts that make up the objects in a cluttered scene is critical for their recognition. The medial axis community has long exploited the ubiquitous regularity of symmetry as a basis for the decomposition of a closed contour into medial parts. However, today's recognition systems are faced with cluttered scenes, and the assumption that a closed contour exists, i.e. that figure-ground segmentation has been solved, renders much of the medial axis community's work inapplicable. In this article, we review a computational framework, previously reported in Lee et al. (2013), Levinshtein et al. (2009, 2013), that bridges the representation power of the medial axis and the need to recover and group an object's parts in a cluttered scene. Our framework is rooted in the idea that a maximally inscribed disc, the building block of a medial axis, can be modeled as a compact superpixel in the image. We evaluate the method on images of cluttered scenes.
We present a system that produces sentential descriptions of video: who did what to whom, and where and how they did it. Action class is rendered as a verb, participant objects as noun phrases, properties of those objects as adjectival modifiers in those noun phrases, spatial relations between those participants as prepositional phrases, and characteristics of the event as prepositional-phrase adjuncts and adverbial modifiers. Extracting the information needed to render these linguistic entities requires an approach to event recognition that recovers object tracks, the trackto-role assignments, and changing body posture.
Aug 26 2014 cs.CV
Hierarchies allow feature sharing between objects at multiple levels of representation, can code exponential variability in a very compact way and enable fast inference. This makes them potentially suitable for learning and recognizing a higher number of object classes. However, the success of the hierarchical approaches so far has been hindered by the use of hand-crafted features or predetermined grouping rules. This paper presents a novel framework for learning a hierarchical compositional shape vocabulary for representing multiple object classes. The approach takes simple contour fragments and learns their frequent spatial configurations. These are recursively combined into increasingly more complex and class-specific shape compositions, each exerting a high degree of shape variability. At the top-level of the vocabulary, the compositions are sufficiently large and complex to represent the whole shapes of the objects. We learn the vocabulary layer after layer, by gradually increasing the size of the window of analysis and reducing the spatial resolution at which the shape configurations are learned. The lower layers are learned jointly on images of all classes, whereas the higher layers of the vocabulary are learned incrementally, by presenting the algorithm with one object class after another. The experimental results show that the learned multi-class object representation scales favorably with the number of object classes and achieves a state-of-the-art detection performance at both, faster inference as well as shorter training times.
Jun 17 2014 cs.CV
Recent trends in image understanding have pushed for holistic scene understanding models that jointly reason about various tasks such as object detection, scene recognition, shape analysis, contextual reasoning, and local appearance based classifiers. In this work, we are interested in understanding the roles of these different tasks in improved scene understanding, in particular semantic segmentation, object detection and scene recognition. Towards this goal, we "plug-in" human subjects for each of the various components in a state-of-the-art conditional random field model. Comparisons among various hybrid human-machine CRFs give us indications of how much "head room" there is to improve scene understanding by focusing research efforts on various individual tasks.
Jun 10 2014 cs.CV
Detecting objects becomes difficult when we need to deal with large shape deformation, occlusion and low resolution. We propose a novel approach to i) handle large deformations and partial occlusions in animals (as examples of highly deformable objects), ii) describe them in terms of body parts, and iii) detect them when their body parts are hard to detect (e.g., animals depicted at low resolution). We represent the holistic object and body parts separately and use a fully connected model to arrange templates for the holistic object and body parts. Our model automatically decouples the holistic object or body parts from the model when they are hard to detect. This enables us to represent a large number of holistic object and body part combinations to better deal with different "detectability" patterns caused by deformations, occlusion and/or low resolution. We apply our method to the six animal categories in the PASCAL VOC dataset and show that our method significantly improves state-of-the-art (by 4.1% AP) and provides a richer representation for objects. During training we use annotations for body parts (e.g., head, torso, etc), making use of a new dataset of fully annotated object parts for PASCAL VOC 2010, which provides a mask for each part.
We present a system that produces sentential descriptions of video: who did what to whom, and where and how they did it. Action class is rendered as a verb, participant objects as noun phrases, properties of those objects as adjectival modifiers in those noun phrases,spatial relations between those participants as prepositional phrases, and characteristics of the event as prepositional-phrase adjuncts and adverbial modifiers. Extracting the information needed to render these linguistic entities requires an approach to event recognition that recovers object tracks, the track-to-role assignments, and changing body posture.