One of the key challenges of visual perception is to extract abstract models of 3D objects and object categories from visual measurements, which are affected by complex nuisance factors such as viewpoint, occlusion, motion, and deformations. Starting from the recent idea of viewpoint factorization, we propose a new approach that, given a large number of images of an object and no other supervision, can extract a dense object-centric coordinate frame. This coordinate frame is invariant to deformations of the images and comes with a dense equivariant labelling neural network that can map image pixels to their corresponding object coordinates. We demonstrate the applicability of this method to simple articulated objects and deformable objects such as human faces, learning embeddings from random synthetic transformations or optical flow correspondences, all without any manual supervision.
While the basic laws of Newtonian mechanics are well understood, explaining a physical scenario still requires manually modeling the problem with suitable equations and associated parameters. In order to adopt such models for artificial intelligence, researchers have handcrafted the relevant states, and then used neural networks to learn the state transitions using simulation runs as training data. Unfortunately, such approaches can be unsuitable for modeling complex real-world scenarios, where manually authoring relevant state spaces tend to be challenging. In this work, we investigate if neural networks can implicitly learn physical states of real-world mechanical processes only based on visual data, and thus enable long-term physical extrapolation. We develop a recurrent neural network architecture for this task and also characterize resultant uncertainties in the form of evolving variance estimates. We evaluate our setup to extrapolate motion of a rolling ball on bowl of varying shape and orientation using only images as input, and report competitive results with approaches that assume access to internal physics models and parameters.
There is a growing interest in learning data representations that work well for many different types of problems and data. In this paper, we look in particular at the task of learning a single visual representation that can be successfully utilized in the analysis of very different types of images, from dog breeds to stop signs and digits. Inspired by recent work on learning networks that predict the parameters of another, we develop a tunable deep network architecture that, by means of adapter residual modules, can be steered on the fly to diverse visual domains. Our method achieves a high degree of parameter sharing while maintaining or even improving the accuracy of domain-specific representations. We also introduce the Visual Decathlon Challenge, a benchmark that evaluates the ability of representations to capture simultaneously ten very different visual domains and measures their ability to recognize well uniformly.
May 12 2017 cs.CV
Traditional approaches for learning 3D object categories use either synthetic data or manual supervision. In this paper, we propose instead an unsupervised method that is cued by observing objects from a moving vantage point. Our system builds on two innovations: a Siamese viewpoint factorization network that robustly aligns different videos together without explicitly comparing 3D shapes; and a 3D shape completion network that can extract the full shape of an object from partial observations. We also demonstrate the benefits of configuring networks to perform probabilistic predictions as well as of geometry-aware data augmentation schemes. State-of-the-art results are demonstrated on publicly-available benchmarks.
Automatically learning the structure of object categories remains an important open problem in computer vision. We propose a novel unsupervised approach that can discover and learn to detect landmarks in object categories, thus characterizing their structure. Our approach is based on factorizing image deformations, as induced by a viewpoint change or an object articulation, by learning a deep neural network that detects landmarks compatible with such visual effects. We show that, by requiring the same neural network to be applicable to different object instances, our method naturally induces meaningful correspondences between different object instances in a category. We assess the method qualitatively on a variety of object types, natural an man-made. We also show that our unsupervised landmarks are highly predictive of manually-annotated landmarks in faces benchmark datasets, and can be used to regress those with a high degree of accuracy.
The Correlation Filter is an algorithm that trains a linear template to discriminate between images and their translations. It is well suited to object tracking because its formulation in the Fourier domain provides a fast solution, enabling the detector to be re-trained once per frame. Previous works that use the Correlation Filter, however, have adopted features that were either manually designed or trained for a different task. This work is the first to overcome this limitation by interpreting the Correlation Filter learner, which has a closed-form solution, as a differentiable layer in a deep neural network. This enables learning deep features that are tightly coupled to the Correlation Filter. Experiments illustrate that our method has the important practical benefit of allowing lightweight architectures to achieve state-of-the-art performance at high framerates.
Apr 21 2017 cs.CV
In this paper, we propose a novel benchmark for evaluating local image descriptors. We demonstrate that the existing datasets and evaluation protocols do not specify unambiguously all aspects of evaluation, leading to ambiguities and inconsistencies in results reported in the literature. Furthermore, these datasets are nearly saturated due to the recent improvements in local descriptors obtained by learning them from large annotated datasets. Therefore, we introduce a new large dataset suitable for training and testing modern descriptors, together with strictly defined evaluation protocols in several tasks such as matching, retrieval and classification. This allows for more realistic, and thus more reliable comparisons in different application scenarios. We evaluate the performance of several state-of-the-art descriptors and analyse their properties. We show that a simple normalisation of traditional hand-crafted descriptors can boost their performance to the level of deep learning based descriptors within a realistic benchmarks evaluation.
Apr 18 2017 cs.CV
Despite significant progress of deep learning in recent years, state-of-the-art semantic matching methods still rely on legacy features such as SIFT or HoG. We argue that the strong invariance properties that are key to the success of recent deep architectures on the classification task make them unfit for dense correspondence tasks, unless a large amount of supervision is used. In this work, we propose a deep network, termed AnchorNet, that produces image representations that are well-suited for semantic matching. It relies on a set of filters whose response is geometrically consistent across different object instances, even in the presence of strong intra-class, scale, or viewpoint variations. Trained only with weak image-level labels, the final representation successfully captures information about the object structure and improves results of state-of-the-art semantic matching methods such as the deformable spatial pyramid or the proposal flow methods. We show positive results on the cross-instance matching task where different instances of the same object category are matched as well as on a new cross-category semantic matching task aligning pairs of instances each from a different object class.
As machine learning algorithms are increasingly applied to high impact yet high risk tasks, e.g. problems in health, it is critical that researchers can explain how such algorithms arrived at their predictions. In recent years, a number of image saliency methods have been developed to summarize where highly complex neural networks "look" in an image for evidence for their predictions. However, these techniques are limited by their heuristic nature and architectural constraints. In this paper, we make two main contributions: First, we propose a general framework for learning different kinds of explanations for any black box algorithm. Second, we introduce a paradigm that learns the minimally salient part of an image by directly editing it and learning from the corresponding changes to its output. Unlike previous works, our method is model-agnostic and testable because it is grounded in replicable image perturbations.
We present a new autoencoder-type architecture that is trainable in an unsupervised mode, sustains both generation and inference, and has the quality of conditional and unconditional samples boosted by adversarial learning. Unlike previous hybrids of autoencoders and adversarial networks, the adversarial game in our approach is set up directly between the encoder and the generator, and no external mappings are trained in the process of learning. The game objective compares the divergences of each of the real and the generated data distributions with the prior distribution in the latent space. We show that direct generator-vs-encoder game leads to a tight coupling of the two components, resulting in samples and reconstructions of a comparable quality to some recently-proposed more complex architectures.
Evolution has resulted in highly developed abilities in many natural intelligences to quickly and accurately predict mechanical phenomena. Humans have successfully developed laws of physics to abstract and model such mechanical phenomena. In the context of artificial intelligence, a recent line of work has focused on estimating physical parameters based on sensory data and use them in physical simulators to make long-term predictions. In contrast, we investigate the effectiveness of a single neural network for end-to-end long-term prediction of mechanical phenomena. Based on extensive evaluation, we demonstrate that such networks can outperform alternate approaches having even access to ground-truth physical simulators, especially when some physical parameters are unobserved or not known a-priori. Further, our network outputs a distribution of outcomes to capture the inherent uncertainty in the data. Our approach demonstrates for the first time the possibility of making actionable long-term predictions from sensor data without requiring to explicitly model the underlying physical laws.
With the advent of large labelled datasets and high-capacity models, the performance of machine vision systems has been improving rapidly. However, the technology has still major limitations, starting from the fact that different vision problems are still solved by different models, trained from scratch or fine-tuned on the target data. The human visual system, in stark contrast, learns a universal representation for vision in the early life of an individual. This representation works well for an enormous variety of vision problems, with little or no change, with the major advantage of requiring little training data to solve any of them.
Jan 10 2017 cs.CV
The recent work of Gatys et al., who characterized the style of an image by the statistics of convolutional neural network filters, ignited a renewed interest in the texture generation and image stylization problems. While their image generation technique uses a slow optimization process, recently several authors have proposed to learn generator neural networks that can produce similar outputs in one quick forward pass. While generator networks are promising, they are still inferior in visual quality and diversity compared to generation-by-optimization. In this work, we advance them in two significant ways. First, we introduce an instance normalization module to replace batch normalization with significant improvements to the quality of image stylization. Second, we improve diversity by introducing a new learning formulation that encourages generators to sample unbiasedly from the Julesz texture ensemble, which is the equivalence class of all images characterized by certain filter responses. Together, these two improvements take feed forward texture synthesis and image stylization much closer to the quality of generation-via-optimization, while retaining the speed advantage.
Dec 05 2016 cs.CV
We introduce the concept of "dynamic image", a novel compact representation of videos useful for video analysis especially when convolutional neural networks (CNNs) are used. The dynamic image is based on the rank pooling concept and is obtained through the parameters of a ranking machine that encodes the temporal evolution of the frames of the video. Dynamic images are obtained by directly applying rank pooling on the raw image pixels of a video producing a single RGB image per video. This idea is simple but powerful as it enables the use of existing CNN models directly on video data with fine-tuning. We present an efficient and effective approximate rank pooling operator, speeding it up orders of magnitude compared to rank pooling. Our new approximate rank pooling CNN layer allows us to generalize dynamic images to dynamic feature maps and we demonstrate the power of our new representations on standard benchmarks in action recognition achieving state-of-the-art performance.
Oct 11 2016 cs.CV
In this short note we introduce ResearchDoom, an implementation of the Doom first-person shooter that can extract detailed metadata from the game. We also introduce the CocoDoom dataset, a collection of pre-recorded data extracted from Doom gaming sessions along with annotations in the MS Coco format. ResearchDoom and CocoDoom can be used to train and evaluate a variety of computer vision methods such as object recognition, detection and segmentation at the level of instances and categories, tracking, ego-motion estimation, monocular depth estimation and scene segmentation. The code and data are available at http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~vgg/research/researchdoom.
Oct 10 2016 cs.CV
Differently from computer vision systems which require explicit supervision, humans can learn facial expressions by observing people in their environment. In this paper, we look at how similar capabilities could be developed in machine vision. As a starting point, we consider the problem of relating facial expressions to objectively measurable events occurring in videos. In particular, we consider a gameshow in which contestants play to win significant sums of money. We extract events affecting the game and corresponding facial expressions objectively and automatically from the videos, obtaining large quantities of labelled data for our study. We also develop, using benchmarks such as FER and SFEW 2.0, state-of-the-art deep neural networks for facial expression recognition, showing that pre-training on face verification data can be highly beneficial for this task. Then, we extend these models to use facial expressions to predict events in videos and learn nameable expressions from them. The dataset and emotion recognition models are available at http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~vgg/data/facevalue
Sep 15 2016 cs.CV
Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are extremely efficient, since they exploit the inherent translation-invariance of natural images. However, translation is just one of a myriad of useful spatial transformations. Can the same efficiency be attained when considering other spatial invariances? Such generalized convolutions have been considered in the past, but at a high computational cost. We present a construction that is simple and exact, yet has the same computational complexity that standard convolutions enjoy. It consists of a constant image warp followed by a simple convolution, which are standard blocks in deep learning toolboxes. With a carefully crafted warp, the resulting architecture can be made invariant to one of a wide range of spatial transformations. We show encouraging results in realistic scenarios, including the estimation of vehicle poses in the Google Earth dataset (rotation and scale), and face poses in Annotated Facial Landmarks in the Wild (3D rotations under perspective).
Sep 13 2016 cs.CV
Deep Matching (DM) is a popular high-quality method for quasi-dense image matching. Despite its name, however, the original DM formulation does not yield a deep neural network that can be trained end-to-end via backpropagation. In this paper, we remove this limitation by rewriting the complete DM algorithm as a convolutional neural network. This results in a novel deep architecture for image matching that involves a number of new layer types and that, similar to recent networks for image segmentation, has a U-topology. We demonstrate the utility of the approach by improving the performance of DM by learning it end-to-end on an image matching task.
Jul 28 2016 cs.CV
It this paper we revisit the fast stylization method introduced in Ulyanov et. al. (2016). We show how a small change in the stylization architecture results in a significant qualitative improvement in the generated images. The change is limited to swapping batch normalization with instance normalization, and to apply the latter both at training and testing times. The resulting method can be used to train high-performance architectures for real-time image generation. The code will is made available on github.
Jul 06 2016 cs.CV
While recent research in image understanding has often focused on recognizing more types of objects, understanding more about the objects is just as important. Recognizing object parts and attributes has been extensively studied before, yet learning large space of such concepts remains elusive due to the high cost of providing detailed object annotations for supervision. The key contribution of this paper is an algorithm to learn the nameable parts of objects automatically, from images obtained by querying Web search engines. The key challenge is the high level of noise in the annotations; to address it, we propose a new unified embedding space where the appearance and geometry of objects and their semantic parts are represented uniformly. Geometric relationships are induced in a soft manner by a rich set of nonsemantic mid-level anchors, bridging the gap between semantic and non-semantic parts. We also show that the resulting embedding provides a visually-intuitive mechanism to navigate the learned concepts and their corresponding images.
Jul 01 2016 cs.CV
The problem of arbitrary object tracking has traditionally been tackled by learning a model of the object's appearance exclusively online, using as sole training data the video itself. Despite the success of these methods, their online-only approach inherently limits the richness of the model they can learn. Recently, several attempts have been made to exploit the expressive power of deep convolutional networks. However, when the object to track is not known beforehand, it is necessary to perform Stochastic Gradient Descent online to adapt the weights of the network, severely compromising the speed of the system. In this paper we equip a basic tracking algorithm with a novel fully-convolutional Siamese network trained end-to-end on the ILSVRC15 dataset for object detection in video. Our tracker operates at frame-rates beyond real-time and, despite its extreme simplicity, achieves state-of-the-art performance in multiple benchmarks.
One-shot learning is usually tackled by using generative models or discriminative embeddings. Discriminative methods based on deep learning, which are very effective in other learning scenarios, are ill-suited for one-shot learning as they need large amounts of training data. In this paper, we propose a method to learn the parameters of a deep model in one shot. We construct the learner as a second deep network, called a learnet, which predicts the parameters of a pupil network from a single exemplar. In this manner we obtain an efficient feed-forward one-shot learner, trained end-to-end by minimizing a one-shot classification objective in a learning to learn formulation. In order to make the construction feasible, we propose a number of factorizations of the parameters of the pupil network. We demonstrate encouraging results by learning characters from single exemplars in Omniglot, and by tracking visual objects from a single initial exemplar in the Visual Object Tracking benchmark.
Modern discriminative predictors have been shown to match natural intelligences in specific perceptual tasks in image classification, object and part detection, boundary extraction, etc. However, a major advantage that natural intelligences still have is that they work well for "all" perceptual problems together, solving them efficiently and coherently in an "integrated manner". In order to capture some of these advantages in machine perception, we ask two questions: whether deep neural networks can learn universal image representations, useful not only for a single task but for all of them, and how the solutions to the different tasks can be integrated in this framework. We answer by proposing a new architecture, which we call "MultiNet", in which not only deep image features are shared between tasks, but where tasks can interact in a recurrent manner by encoding the results of their analysis in a common shared representation of the data. In this manner, we show that the performance of individual tasks in standard benchmarks can be improved first by sharing features between them and then, more significantly, by integrating their solutions in the common representation.
May 05 2016 cs.CV
Local covariant feature detection, namely the problem of extracting viewpoint invariant features from images, has so far largely resisted the application of machine learning techniques. In this paper, we propose the first fully general formulation for learning local covariant feature detectors. We propose to cast detection as a regression problem, enabling the use of powerful regressors such as deep neural networks. We then derive a covariance constraint that can be used to automatically learn which visual structures provide stable anchors for local feature detection. We support these ideas theoretically, proposing a novel analysis of local features in term of geometric transformations, and we show that all common and many uncommon detectors can be derived in this framework. Finally, we present empirical results on translation and rotation covariant detectors on standard feature benchmarks, showing the power and flexibility of the framework.
Apr 25 2016 cs.CV
In this paper we introduce a new method for text detection in natural images. The method comprises two contributions: First, a fast and scalable engine to generate synthetic images of text in clutter. This engine overlays synthetic text to existing background images in a natural way, accounting for the local 3D scene geometry. Second, we use the synthetic images to train a Fully-Convolutional Regression Network (FCRN) which efficiently performs text detection and bounding-box regression at all locations and multiple scales in an image. We discuss the relation of FCRN to the recently-introduced YOLO detector, as well as other end-to-end object detection systems based on deep learning. The resulting detection network significantly out performs current methods for text detection in natural images, achieving an F-measure of 84.2% on the standard ICDAR 2013 benchmark. Furthermore, it can process 15 images per second on a GPU.
Mar 11 2016 cs.CV
Gatys et al. recently demonstrated that deep networks can generate beautiful textures and stylized images from a single texture example. However, their methods requires a slow and memory-consuming optimization process. We propose here an alternative approach that moves the computational burden to a learning stage. Given a single example of a texture, our approach trains compact feed-forward convolutional networks to generate multiple samples of the same texture of arbitrary size and to transfer artistic style from a given image to any other image. The resulting networks are remarkably light-weight and can generate textures of quality comparable to Gatys~et~al., but hundreds of times faster. More generally, our approach highlights the power and flexibility of generative feed-forward models trained with complex and expressive loss functions.
Dec 08 2015 cs.CV
Image representations, from SIFT and bag of visual words to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are a crucial component of almost all computer vision systems. However, our understanding of them remains limited. In this paper we study several landmark representations, both shallow and deep, by a number of complementary visualization techniques. These visualizations are based on the concept of "natural pre-image", namely a natural-looking image whose representation has some notable property. We study in particular three such visualizations: inversion, in which the aim is to reconstruct an image from its representation, activation maximization, in which we search for patterns that maximally stimulate a representation component, and caricaturization, in which the visual patterns that a representation detects in an image are exaggerated. We pose these as a regularized energy-minimization framework and demonstrate its generality and effectiveness. In particular, we show that this method can invert representations such as HOG more accurately than recent alternatives while being applicable to CNNs too. Among our findings, we show that several layers in CNNs retain photographically accurate information about the image, with different degrees of geometric and photometric invariance.
Nov 11 2015 cs.CV
Weakly supervised learning of object detection is an important problem in image understanding that still does not have a satisfactory solution. In this paper, we address this problem by exploiting the power of deep convolutional neural networks pre-trained on large-scale image-level classification tasks. We propose a weakly supervised deep detection architecture that modifies one such network to operate at the level of image regions, performing simultaneously region selection and classification. Trained as an image classifier, the architecture implicitly learns object detectors that are better than alternative weakly supervised detection systems on the PASCAL VOC data. The model, which is a simple and elegant end-to-end architecture, outperforms standard data augmentation and fine-tuning techniques for the task of image-level classification as well.
Jul 10 2015 cs.CV
Visual textures have played a key role in image understanding because they convey important semantics of images, and because texture representations that pool local image descriptors in an orderless manner have had a tremendous impact in diverse applications. In this paper we make several contributions to texture understanding. First, instead of focusing on texture instance and material category recognition, we propose a human-interpretable vocabulary of texture attributes to describe common texture patterns, complemented by a new describable texture dataset for benchmarking. Second, we look at the problem of recognizing materials and texture attributes in realistic imaging conditions, including when textures appear in clutter, developing corresponding benchmarks on top of the recently proposed OpenSurfaces dataset. Third, we revisit classic texture representations, including bag-of-visual-words and the Fisher vectors, in the context of deep learning and show that these have excellent efficiency and generalization properties if the convolutional layers of a deep model are used as filter banks. We obtain in this manner state-of-the-art performance in numerous datasets well beyond textures, an efficient method to apply deep features to image regions, as well as benefit in transferring features from one domain to another.
Jun 24 2015 cs.CV
Deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have had a major impact in most areas of image understanding, including object category detection. In object detection, methods such as R-CNN have obtained excellent results by integrating CNNs with region proposal generation algorithms such as selective search. In this paper, we investigate the role of proposal generation in CNN-based detectors in order to determine whether it is a necessary modelling component, carrying essential geometric information not contained in the CNN, or whether it is merely a way of accelerating detection. We do so by designing and evaluating a detector that uses a trivial region generation scheme, constant for each image. Combined with SPP, this results in an excellent and fast detector that does not require to process an image with algorithms other than the CNN itself. We also streamline and simplify the training of CNN-based detectors by integrating several learning steps in a single algorithm, as well as by proposing a number of improvements that accelerate detection.
May 12 2015 cs.CV
In this work we address the task of segmenting an object into its parts, or semantic part segmentation. We start by adapting a state-of-the-art semantic segmentation system to this task, and show that a combination of a fully-convolutional Deep CNN system coupled with Dense CRF labelling provides excellent results for a broad range of object categories. Still, this approach remains agnostic to high-level constraints between object parts. We introduce such prior information by means of the Restricted Boltzmann Machine, adapted to our task and train our model in an discriminative fashion, as a hidden CRF, demonstrating that prior information can yield additional improvements. We also investigate the performance of our approach ``in the wild'', without information concerning the objects' bounding boxes, using an object detector to guide a multi-scale segmentation scheme. We evaluate the performance of our approach on the Penn-Fudan and LFW datasets for the tasks of pedestrian parsing and face labelling respectively. We show superior performance with respect to competitive methods that have been extensively engineered on these benchmarks, as well as realistic qualitative results on part segmentation, even for occluded or deformable objects. We also provide quantitative and extensive qualitative results on three classes from the PASCAL Parts dataset. Finally, we show that our multi-scale segmentation scheme can boost accuracy, recovering segmentations for finer parts.
Apr 21 2015 cs.CV
Fisher Vectors and related orderless visual statistics have demonstrated excellent performance in object detection, sometimes superior to established approaches such as the Deformable Part Models. However, it remains unclear how these models can capture complex appearance variations using visual codebooks of limited sizes and coarse geometric information. In this work, we propose to interpret Fisher-Vector-based object detectors as part-based models. Through the use of several visualizations and experiments, we show that this is a useful insight to explain the good performance of the model. Furthermore, we reveal for the first time several interesting properties of the FV, including its ability to work well using only a small subset of input patches and visual words. Finally, we discuss the relation of the FV and DPM detectors, pointing out differences and commonalities between them.
Part-based representations have been shown to be very useful for image classification. Learning part-based models is often viewed as a two-stage problem. First, a collection of informative parts is discovered, using heuristics that promote part distinctiveness and diversity, and then classifiers are trained on the vector of part responses. In this paper we unify the two stages and learn the image classifiers and a set of shared parts jointly. We generate an initial pool of parts by randomly sampling part candidates and selecting a good subset using L1/L2 regularization. All steps are driven "directly" by the same objective namely the classification loss on a training set. This lets us do away with engineered heuristics. We also introduce the notion of "negative parts", intended as parts that are negatively correlated with one or more classes. Negative parts are complementary to the parts discovered by other methods, which look only for positive correlations.
Dec 19 2014 cs.CV
We develop a representation suitable for the unconstrained recognition of words in natural images: the general case of no fixed lexicon and unknown length. To this end we propose a convolutional neural network (CNN) based architecture which incorporates a Conditional Random Field (CRF) graphical model, taking the whole word image as a single input. The unaries of the CRF are provided by a CNN that predicts characters at each position of the output, while higher order terms are provided by another CNN that detects the presence of N-grams. We show that this entire model (CRF, character predictor, N-gram predictor) can be jointly optimised by back-propagating the structured output loss, essentially requiring the system to perform multi-task learning, and training uses purely synthetically generated data. The resulting model is a more accurate system on standard real-world text recognition benchmarks than character prediction alone, setting a benchmark for systems that have not been trained on a particular lexicon. In addition, our model achieves state-of-the-art accuracy in lexicon-constrained scenarios, without being specifically modelled for constrained recognition. To test the generalisation of our model, we also perform experiments with random alpha-numeric strings to evaluate the method when no visual language model is applicable.
MatConvNet is an implementation of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) for MATLAB. The toolbox is designed with an emphasis on simplicity and flexibility. It exposes the building blocks of CNNs as easy-to-use MATLAB functions, providing routines for computing linear convolutions with filter banks, feature pooling, and many more. In this manner, MatConvNet allows fast prototyping of new CNN architectures; at the same time, it supports efficient computation on CPU and GPU allowing to train complex models on large datasets such as ImageNet ILSVRC. This document provides an overview of CNNs and how they are implemented in MatConvNet and gives the technical details of each computational block in the toolbox.
Dec 08 2014 cs.CV
In this work we present an end-to-end system for text spotting -- localising and recognising text in natural scene images -- and text based image retrieval. This system is based on a region proposal mechanism for detection and deep convolutional neural networks for recognition. Our pipeline uses a novel combination of complementary proposal generation techniques to ensure high recall, and a fast subsequent filtering stage for improving precision. For the recognition and ranking of proposals, we train very large convolutional neural networks to perform word recognition on the whole proposal region at the same time, departing from the character classifier based systems of the past. These networks are trained solely on data produced by a synthetic text generation engine, requiring no human labelled data. Analysing the stages of our pipeline, we show state-of-the-art performance throughout. We perform rigorous experiments across a number of standard end-to-end text spotting benchmarks and text-based image retrieval datasets, showing a large improvement over all previous methods. Finally, we demonstrate a real-world application of our text spotting system to allow thousands of hours of news footage to be instantly searchable via a text query.
Dec 02 2014 cs.CV
Image representations, from SIFT and Bag of Visual Words to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), are a crucial component of almost any image understanding system. Nevertheless, our understanding of them remains limited. In this paper we conduct a direct analysis of the visual information contained in representations by asking the following question: given an encoding of an image, to which extent is it possible to reconstruct the image itself? To answer this question we contribute a general framework to invert representations. We show that this method can invert representations such as HOG and SIFT more accurately than recent alternatives while being applicable to CNNs too. We then use this technique to study the inverse of recent state-of-the-art CNN image representations for the first time. Among our findings, we show that several layers in CNNs retain photographically accurate information about the image, with different degrees of geometric and photometric invariance.
Nov 26 2014 cs.CV
Research in texture recognition often concentrates on the problem of material recognition in uncluttered conditions, an assumption rarely met by applications. In this work we conduct a first study of material and describable texture at- tributes recognition in clutter, using a new dataset derived from the OpenSurface texture repository. Motivated by the challenge posed by this problem, we propose a new texture descriptor, D-CNN, obtained by Fisher Vector pooling of a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) filter bank. D-CNN substantially improves the state-of-the-art in texture, mate- rial and scene recognition. Our approach achieves 82.3% accuracy on Flickr material dataset and 81.1% accuracy on MIT indoor scenes, providing absolute gains of more than 10% over existing approaches. D-CNN easily trans- fers across domains without requiring feature adaptation as for methods that build on the fully-connected layers of CNNs. Furthermore, D-CNN can seamlessly incorporate multi-scale information and describe regions of arbitrary shapes and sizes. Our approach is particularly suited at lo- calizing stuff categories and obtains state-of-the-art re- sults on MSRC segmentation dataset, as well as promising results on recognizing materials and surface attributes in clutter on the OpenSurfaces dataset.
Despite the importance of image representations such as histograms of oriented gradients and deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), our theoretical understanding of them remains limited. Aiming at filling this gap, we investigate three key mathematical properties of representations: equivariance, invariance, and equivalence. Equivariance studies how transformations of the input image are encoded by the representation, invariance being a special case where a transformation has no effect. Equivalence studies whether two representations, for example two different parametrisations of a CNN, capture the same visual information or not. A number of methods to establish these properties empirically are proposed, including introducing transformation and stitching layers in CNNs. These methods are then applied to popular representations to reveal insightful aspects of their structure, including clarifying at which layers in a CNN certain geometric invariances are achieved. While the focus of the paper is theoretical, direct applications to structured-output regression are demonstrated too.
Jun 10 2014 cs.CV
In this work we present a framework for the recognition of natural scene text. Our framework does not require any human-labelled data, and performs word recognition on the whole image holistically, departing from the character based recognition systems of the past. The deep neural network models at the centre of this framework are trained solely on data produced by a synthetic text generation engine -- synthetic data that is highly realistic and sufficient to replace real data, giving us infinite amounts of training data. This excess of data exposes new possibilities for word recognition models, and here we consider three models, each one "reading" words in a different way: via 90k-way dictionary encoding, character sequence encoding, and bag-of-N-grams encoding. In the scenarios of language based and completely unconstrained text recognition we greatly improve upon state-of-the-art performance on standard datasets, using our fast, simple machinery and requiring zero data-acquisition costs.
May 16 2014 cs.CV
The focus of this paper is speeding up the evaluation of convolutional neural networks. While delivering impressive results across a range of computer vision and machine learning tasks, these networks are computationally demanding, limiting their deployability. Convolutional layers generally consume the bulk of the processing time, and so in this work we present two simple schemes for drastically speeding up these layers. This is achieved by exploiting cross-channel or filter redundancy to construct a low rank basis of filters that are rank-1 in the spatial domain. Our methods are architecture agnostic, and can be easily applied to existing CPU and GPU convolutional frameworks for tuneable speedup performance. We demonstrate this with a real world network designed for scene text character recognition, showing a possible 2.5x speedup with no loss in accuracy, and 4.5x speedup with less than 1% drop in accuracy, still achieving state-of-the-art on standard benchmarks.
May 15 2014 cs.CV
The latest generation of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) have achieved impressive results in challenging benchmarks on image recognition and object detection, significantly raising the interest of the community in these methods. Nevertheless, it is still unclear how different CNN methods compare with each other and with previous state-of-the-art shallow representations such as the Bag-of-Visual-Words and the Improved Fisher Vector. This paper conducts a rigorous evaluation of these new techniques, exploring different deep architectures and comparing them on a common ground, identifying and disclosing important implementation details. We identify several useful properties of CNN-based representations, including the fact that the dimensionality of the CNN output layer can be reduced significantly without having an adverse effect on performance. We also identify aspects of deep and shallow methods that can be successfully shared. In particular, we show that the data augmentation techniques commonly applied to CNN-based methods can also be applied to shallow methods, and result in an analogous performance boost. Source code and models to reproduce the experiments in the paper is made publicly available.
Dec 23 2013 cs.CV
This paper addresses the visualisation of image classification models, learnt using deep Convolutional Networks (ConvNets). We consider two visualisation techniques, based on computing the gradient of the class score with respect to the input image. The first one generates an image, which maximises the class score [Erhan et al., 2009], thus visualising the notion of the class, captured by a ConvNet. The second technique computes a class saliency map, specific to a given image and class. We show that such maps can be employed for weakly supervised object segmentation using classification ConvNets. Finally, we establish the connection between the gradient-based ConvNet visualisation methods and deconvolutional networks [Zeiler et al., 2013].
Nov 15 2013 cs.CV
Patterns and textures are defining characteristics of many natural objects: a shirt can be striped, the wings of a butterfly can be veined, and the skin of an animal can be scaly. Aiming at supporting this analytical dimension in image understanding, we address the challenging problem of describing textures with semantic attributes. We identify a rich vocabulary of forty-seven texture terms and use them to describe a large dataset of patterns collected in the wild.The resulting Describable Textures Dataset (DTD) is the basis to seek for the best texture representation for recognizing describable texture attributes in images. We port from object recognition to texture recognition the Improved Fisher Vector (IFV) and show that, surprisingly, it outperforms specialized texture descriptors not only on our problem, but also in established material recognition datasets. We also show that the describable attributes are excellent texture descriptors, transferring between datasets and tasks; in particular, combined with IFV, they significantly outperform the state-of-the-art by more than 8 percent on both FMD and KTHTIPS-2b benchmarks. We also demonstrate that they produce intuitive descriptions of materials and Internet images.
Jun 24 2013 cs.CV
This paper introduces FGVC-Aircraft, a new dataset containing 10,000 images of aircraft spanning 100 aircraft models, organised in a three-level hierarchy. At the finer level, differences between models are often subtle but always visually measurable, making visual recognition challenging but possible. A benchmark is obtained by defining corresponding classification tasks and evaluation protocols, and baseline results are presented. The construction of this dataset was made possible by the work of aircraft enthusiasts, a strategy that can extend to the study of number of other object classes. Compared to the domains usually considered in fine-grained visual classification (FGVC), for example animals, aircraft are rigid and hence less deformable. They, however, present other interesting modes of variation, including purpose, size, designation, structure, historical style, and branding.