Image Understanding


Portmanteau Vocabularies for Multi-Cue Image Representation

Neural Information Processing Systems

We describe a novel technique for feature combination in the bag-of-words model of image classification. Our approach builds discriminative compound words from primitive cues learned independently from training images. Our main observation is that modeling joint-cue distributions independently is more statistically robust for typical classification problems than attempting to empirically estimate the dependent, joint-cue distribution directly. We use Information theoretic vocabulary compression to find discriminative combinations of cues and the resulting vocabulary of portmanteau words is compact, has the cue binding property, and supports individual weighting of cues in the final image representation. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.


Learning To Count Objects in Images

Neural Information Processing Systems

We propose a new supervised learning framework for visual object counting tasks, such as estimating the number of cells in a microscopic image or the number of humans in surveillance video frames. We focus on the practically-attractive case when the training images are annotated with dots (one dot per object). Our goal is to accurately estimate the count. However, we evade the hard task of learning to detect and localize individual object instances. Instead, we cast the problem as that of estimating an image density whose integral over any image region gives the count of objects within that region.


MCBoost: Multiple Classifier Boosting for Perceptual Co-clustering of Images and Visual Features

Neural Information Processing Systems

We present a new co-clustering problem of images and visual features. The problem involves a set of non-object images in addition to a set of object images and features to be co-clustered. Co-clustering is performed in a way of maximising discrimination of object images from non-object images, thus emphasizing discriminative features. This provides a way of obtaining perceptual joint-clusters of object images and features. We tackle the problem by simultaneously boosting multiple strong classifiers which compete for images by their expertise.


Distributed Probabilistic Learning for Camera Networks with Missing Data

Neural Information Processing Systems

Probabilistic approaches to computer vision typically assume a centralized setting, with the algorithm granted access to all observed data points. However, many problems in wide-area surveillance can benefit from distributed modeling, either because of physical or computational constraints. Most distributed models to date use algebraic approaches (such as distributed SVD) and as a result cannot explicitly deal with missing data. In this work we present an approach to estimation and learning of generative probabilistic models in a distributed context where certain sensor data can be missing. In particular, we show how traditional centralized models, such as probabilistic PCA and missing-data PPCA, can be learned when the data is distributed across a network of sensors.


STREETS: A Novel Camera Network Dataset for Traffic Flow

Neural Information Processing Systems

In this paper, we introduce STREETS, a novel traffic flow dataset from publicly available web cameras in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. We seek to address the limitations of existing datasets in this area. Many such datasets lack a coherent traffic network graph to describe the relationship between sensors. The datasets that do provide a graph depict traffic flow in urban population centers or highway systems and use costly sensors like induction loops. These contexts differ from that of a suburban traffic body.


Unsupervised Meta-Learning for Few-Shot Image Classification

Neural Information Processing Systems

Few-shot or one-shot learning of classifiers requires a significant inductive bias towards the type of task to be learned. One way to acquire this is by meta-learning on tasks similar to the target task. In this paper, we propose UMTRA, an algorithm that performs unsupervised, model-agnostic meta-learning for classification tasks. The meta-learning step of UMTRA is performed on a flat collection of unlabeled images. While we assume that these images can be grouped into a diverse set of classes and are relevant to the target task, no explicit information about the classes or any labels are needed.


Fixing the train-test resolution discrepancy

Neural Information Processing Systems

Data-augmentation is key to the training of neural networks for image classification. This paper first shows that existing augmentations induce a significant discrepancy between the size of the objects seen by the classifier at train and test time: in fact, a lower train resolution improves the classification at test time! We then propose a simple strategy to optimize the classifier performance, that employs different train and test resolutions. It relies on a computationally cheap fine-tuning of the network at the test resolution. This enables training strong classifiers using small training images, and therefore significantly reduce the training time.


Modular Universal Reparameterization: Deep Multi-task Learning Across Diverse Domains

Neural Information Processing Systems

As deep learning applications continue to become more diverse, an interesting question arises: Can general problem solving arise from jointly learning several such diverse tasks? To approach this question, deep multi-task learning is extended in this paper to the setting where there is no obvious overlap between task architectures. The idea is that any set of (architecture,task) pairs can be decomposed into a set of potentially related subproblems, whose sharing is optimized by an efficient stochastic algorithm. The approach is first validated in a classic synthetic multi-task learning benchmark, and then applied to sharing across disparate architectures for vision, NLP, and genomics tasks. It discovers regularities across these domains, encodes them into sharable modules, and combines these modules systematically to improve performance in the individual tasks.


Zero-Shot Learning Through Cross-Modal Transfer

Neural Information Processing Systems

This work introduces a model that can recognize objects in images even if no training data is available for the object class. The only necessary knowledge about unseen categories comes from unsupervised text corpora. Unlike previous zero-shot learning models, which can only differentiate between unseen classes, our model can operate on a mixture of objects, simultaneously obtaining state of the art performance on classes with thousands of training images and reasonable performance on unseen classes. This is achieved by seeing the distributions of words in texts as a semantic space for understanding what objects look like. Our deep learning model does not require any manually defined semantic or visual features for either words or images.


Deep Fisher Networks for Large-Scale Image Classification

Neural Information Processing Systems

As massively parallel computations have become broadly available with modern GPUs, deep architectures trained on very large datasets have risen in popularity. Discriminatively trained convolutional neural networks, in particular, were recently shown to yield state-of-the-art performance in challenging image classification benchmarks such as ImageNet. However, elements of these architectures are similar to standard hand-crafted representations used in computer vision. In this paper, we explore the extent of this analogy, proposing a version of the state-of-the-art Fisher vector image encoding that can be stacked in multiple layers. This architecture significantly improves on standard Fisher vectors, and obtains competitive results with deep convolutional networks at a significantly smaller computational cost.