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Virtual-to-Real-World Transfer Learning for Robots on Wilderness Trails

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Robots hold promise in many scenarios involving outdoor use, such as search-and-rescue, wildlife management, and collecting data to improve environment, climate, and weather forecasting. However, autonomous navigation of outdoor trails remains a challenging problem. Recent work has sought to address this issue using deep learning. Although this approach has achieved state-of-the-art results, the deep learning paradigm may be limited due to a reliance on large amounts of annotated training data. Collecting and curating training datasets may not be feasible or practical in many situations, especially as trail conditions may change due to seasonal weather variations, storms, and natural erosion. In this paper, we explore an approach to address this issue through virtual-to-real-world transfer learning using a variety of deep learning models trained to classify the direction of a trail in an image. Our approach utilizes synthetic data gathered from virtual environments for model training, bypassing the need to collect a large amount of real images of the outdoors. We validate our approach in three main ways. First, we demonstrate that our models achieve classification accuracies upwards of 95% on our synthetic data set. Next, we utilize our classification models in the control system of a simulated robot to demonstrate feasibility. Finally, we evaluate our models on real-world trail data and demonstrate the potential of virtual-to-real-world transfer learning.


Spectral Decomposition in Deep Networks for Segmentation of Dynamic Medical Images

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE- MRI) is a widely used multi-phase technique routinely used in clinical practice. DCE and similar datasets of dynamic medical data tend to contain redundant information on the spatial and temporal components that may not be relevant for detection of the object of interest and result in unnecessarily complex computer models with long training times that may also under-perform at test time due to the abundance of noisy heterogeneous data. This work attempts to increase the training efficacy and performance of deep networks by determining redundant information in the spatial and spectral components and show that the performance of segmentation accuracy can be maintained and potentially improved. Reported experiments include the evaluation of training/testing efficacy on a heterogeneous dataset composed of abdominal images of pediatric DCE patients, showing that drastic data reduction (higher than 80%) can preserve the dynamic information and performance of the segmentation model, while effectively suppressing noise and unwanted portion of the images.


A comparative study of semi- and self-supervised semantic segmentation of biomedical microscopy data

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In recent years, supervised machine learning approaches showed spectacular results in various image analysis problems [1]. Based on massive, annotated data sets, deep learning systems have come to the point where they are on par or even outperform humans in specific tasks [2] [3] [4]. However, fully annotated data sets are typically not available or even feasible to create in many domains. Manual reference annotations for pixel-level semantic segmentation in biomedical imaging are particularly costly as they can be too time-consuming and require considerable expert knowledge that might not readily be available. Here, semi-and self-supervised learning methods are promising approaches to build generalizable segmentation tools as they can leverage raw data and require only a few or no labels at all. These methods yield encouraging results in computer vision tasks on natural images.


Domain Adaptive Transfer Attack (DATA)-based Segmentation Networks for Building Extraction from Aerial Images

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Semantic segmentation models based on convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have gained much attention in relation to remote sensing and have achieved remarkable performance for the extraction of buildings from high-resolution aerial images. However, the issue of limited generalization for unseen images remains. When there is a domain gap between the training and test datasets, CNN-based segmentation models trained by a training dataset fail to segment buildings for the test dataset. In this paper, we propose segmentation networks based on a domain adaptive transfer attack (DATA) scheme for building extraction from aerial images. The proposed system combines the domain transfer and adversarial attack concepts. Based on the DATA scheme, the distribution of the input images can be shifted to that of the target images while turning images into adversarial examples against a target network. Defending adversarial examples adapted to the target domain can overcome the performance degradation due to the domain gap and increase the robustness of the segmentation model. Cross-dataset experiments and the ablation study are conducted for the three different datasets: the Inria aerial image labeling dataset, the Massachusetts building dataset, and the WHU East Asia dataset. Compared to the performance of the segmentation network without the DATA scheme, the proposed method shows improvements in the overall IoU. Moreover, it is verified that the proposed method outperforms even when compared to feature adaptation (FA) and output space adaptation (OSA).


Morphological Error Detection in 3D Segmentations

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Deep learning algorithms for connectomics rely upon localized classification, rather than overall morphology. This leads to a high incidence of erroneously merged objects. Humans, by contrast, can easily detect such errors by acquiring intuition for the correct morphology of objects. Biological neurons have complicated and variable shapes, which are challenging to learn, and merge errors take a multitude of different forms. We present an algorithm, MergeNet, that shows 3D ConvNets can, in fact, detect merge errors from high-level neuronal morphology. MergeNet follows unsupervised training and operates across datasets. We demonstrate the performance of MergeNet both on a variety of connectomics data and on a dataset created from merged MNIST images.