Collaborating Authors


Learning from the Failure of Reconstruction

The New Yorker

Last Wednesday, January 6th, a day after Georgia elected its first Black senator, a mob encouraged by Donald Trump and his false claims of election fraud stormed Capitol Hill, resulting in at least five deaths. Despite widespread condemnation of these events, the F.B.I. revealed on Monday that it expects protests at all fifty state capitals in the days leading up to next Wednesday, when Joe Biden will be inaugurated as President. These events have drawn comparisons to coup attempts around the world, but also to the Reconstruction era, when white mobs inflicted violence on citizens and legislators throughout the South. To better understand the lessons of Reconstruction for our times, I recently spoke by phone with Eric Foner, an emeritus professor of history at Columbia, and one of the country's leading experts on Reconstruction. During the conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we also discussed the use of Confederate imagery by those who stormed the Capitol, balancing unity and punishment in the wake of terror, and the historical significance of the two Georgia Senate runoffs.

On the experimental feasibility of quantum state reconstruction via machine learning Artificial Intelligence

We determine the resource scaling of machine learning-based quantum state reconstruction methods, in terms of both inference and training, for systems of up to four qubits. Further, we examine system performance in the low-count regime, likely to be encountered in the tomography of high-dimensional systems. Finally, we implement our quantum state reconstruction method on a IBM Q quantum computer and confirm our results.

S3CNet: A Sparse Semantic Scene Completion Network for LiDAR Point Clouds Artificial Intelligence

With the increasing reliance of self-driving and similar robotic systems on robust 3D vision, the processing of LiDAR scans with deep convolutional neural networks has become a trend in academia and industry alike. Prior attempts on the challenging Semantic Scene Completion task - which entails the inference of dense 3D structure and associated semantic labels from "sparse" representations - have been, to a degree, successful in small indoor scenes when provided with dense point clouds or dense depth maps often fused with semantic segmentation maps from RGB images. However, the performance of these systems drop drastically when applied to large outdoor scenes characterized by dynamic and exponentially sparser conditions. Likewise, processing of the entire sparse volume becomes infeasible due to memory limitations and workarounds introduce computational inefficiency as practitioners are forced to divide the overall volume into multiple equal segments and infer on each individually, rendering real-time performance impossible. In this work, we formulate a method that subsumes the sparsity of large-scale environments and present S3CNet, a sparse convolution based neural network that predicts the semantically completed scene from a single, unified LiDAR point cloud. We show that our proposed method outperforms all counterparts on the 3D task, achieving state-of-the art results on the SemanticKITTI benchmark. Furthermore, we propose a 2D variant of S3CNet with a multi-view fusion strategy to complement our 3D network, providing robustness to occlusions and extreme sparsity in distant regions. We conduct experiments for the 2D semantic scene completion task and compare the results of our sparse 2D network against several leading LiDAR segmentation models adapted for bird's eye view segmentation on two open-source datasets.

Phase Retrieval with Holography and Untrained Priors: Tackling the Challenges of Low-Photon Nanoscale Imaging Machine Learning

Phase retrieval is the inverse problem of recovering a signal from magnitude-only Fourier measurements, and underlies numerous imaging modalities, such as Coherent Diffraction Imaging (CDI). A variant of this setup, known as holography, includes a reference object that is placed adjacent to the specimen of interest before measurements are collected. The resulting inverse problem, known as holographic phase retrieval, is well-known to have improved problem conditioning relative to the original. This innovation, i.e. Holographic CDI, becomes crucial at the nanoscale, where imaging specimens such as viruses, proteins, and crystals require low-photon measurements. This data is highly corrupted by Poisson shot noise, and often lacks low-frequency content as well. In this work, we introduce a dataset-free deep learning framework for holographic phase retrieval adapted to these challenges. The key ingredients of our approach are the explicit and flexible incorporation of the physical forward model into an automatic differentiation procedure, the Poisson log-likelihood objective function, and an optional untrained deep image prior. We perform extensive evaluation under realistic conditions. Compared to competing classical methods, our method recovers signal from higher noise levels and is more resilient to suboptimal reference design, as well as to large missing regions of low frequencies in the observations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to consider a dataset-free machine learning approach for holographic phase retrieval.

GAN Ensemble for Anomaly Detection Artificial Intelligence

When formulated as an unsupervised learning problem, anomaly detection often requires a model to learn the distribution of normal data. Previous works apply Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to anomaly detection tasks and show good performances from these models. Motivated by the observation that GAN ensembles often outperform single GANs in generation tasks, we propose to construct GAN ensembles for anomaly detection. In the proposed method, a group of generators and a group of discriminators are trained together, so every generator gets feedback from multiple discriminators, and vice versa. Compared to a single GAN, a GAN ensemble can better model the distribution of normal data and thus better detect anomalies. Our theoretical analysis of GANs and GAN ensembles explains the role of a GAN discriminator in anomaly detection. In the empirical study, we evaluate ensembles constructed from four types of base models, and the results show that these ensembles clearly outperform single models in a series of tasks of anomaly detection.

Knowledge Capture and Replay for Continual Learning Artificial Intelligence

Deep neural networks have shown promise in several domains, and the learned task-specific information is implicitly stored in the network parameters. It will be vital to utilize representations from these networks for downstream tasks such as continual learning. In this paper, we introduce the notion of {\em flashcards} that are visual representations to {\em capture} the encoded knowledge of a network, as a function of random image patterns. We demonstrate the effectiveness of flashcards in capturing representations and show that they are efficient replay methods for general and task agnostic continual learning setting. Thus, while adapting to a new task, a limited number of constructed flashcards, help to prevent catastrophic forgetting of the previously learned tasks. Most interestingly, such flashcards neither require external memory storage nor need to be accumulated over multiple tasks and only need to be constructed just before learning the subsequent new task, irrespective of the number of tasks trained before and are hence task agnostic. We first demonstrate the efficacy of flashcards in capturing knowledge representation from a trained network, and empirically validate the efficacy of flashcards on a variety of continual learning tasks: continual unsupervised reconstruction, continual denoising, and new-instance learning classification, using a number of heterogeneous benchmark datasets. These studies also indicate that continual learning algorithms with flashcards as the replay strategy perform better than other state-of-the-art replay methods, and exhibits on par performance with the best possible baseline using coreset sampling, with the least additional computational complexity and storage.

Deep Learning Approach for Matrix Completion Using Manifold Learning Machine Learning

Matrix completion has received vast amount of attention and research due to its wide applications in various study fields. Existing methods of matrix completion consider only nonlinear (or linear) relations among entries in a data matrix and ignore linear (or nonlinear) relationships latent. This paper introduces a new latent variables model for data matrix which is a combination of linear and nonlinear models and designs a novel deep-neural-network-based matrix completion algorithm to address both linear and nonlinear relations among entries of data matrix. The proposed method consists of two branches. The first branch learns the latent representations of columns and reconstructs the columns of the partially observed matrix through a series of hidden neural network layers. The second branch does the same for the rows. In addition, based on multi-task learning principles, we enforce these two branches work together and introduce a new regularization technique to reduce over-fitting. More specifically, the missing entries of data are recovered as a main task and manifold learning is performed as an auxiliary task. The auxiliary task constrains the weights of the network so it can be considered as a regularizer, improving the main task and reducing over-fitting. Experimental results obtained on the synthetic data and several real-world data verify the effectiveness of the proposed method compared with state-of-the-art matrix completion methods.

Learned Block Iterative Shrinkage Thresholding Algorithm for Photothermal Super Resolution Imaging Artificial Intelligence

Block-sparse regularization is already well-known in active thermal imaging and is used for multiple measurement based inverse problems. The main bottleneck of this method is the choice of regularization parameters which differs for each experiment. To avoid time-consuming manually selected regularization parameter, we propose a learned block-sparse optimization approach using an iterative algorithm unfolded into a deep neural network. More precisely, we show the benefits of using a learned block iterative shrinkage thresholding algorithm that is able to learn the choice of regularization parameters. In addition, this algorithm enables the determination of a suitable weight matrix to solve the underlying inverse problem. Therefore, in this paper we present the algorithm and compare it with state of the art block iterative shrinkage thresholding using synthetically generated test data and experimental test data from active thermography for defect reconstruction. Our results show that the use of the learned block-sparse optimization approach provides smaller normalized mean square errors for a small fixed number of iterations than without learning. Thus, this new approach allows to improve the convergence speed and only needs a few iterations to generate accurate defect reconstruction in photothermal super resolution imaging.

Convex Regularization Behind Neural Reconstruction Machine Learning

Neural networks have shown tremendous potential for reconstructing highresolution images in inverse problems. The non-convex and opaque nature of neural networks, however, hinders their utility in sensitive applications such as medical imaging. To cope with this challenge, this paper advocates a convex duality framework that makes a two-layer fully-convolutional ReLU denoising network amenable to convex optimization. The convex dual network not only offers the optimum training with convex solvers, but also facilitates interpreting training and prediction. In particular, it implies training neural networks with weight decay regularization induces path sparsity while the prediction is piecewise linear filtering. A range of experiments with MNIST and fastMRI datasets confirm the efficacy of the dual network optimization problem. In the age of AI, image reconstruction has witnessed a paradigm shift that impacts several applications ranging from natural image super-resolution to medical imaging.

Bayesian Image Reconstruction using Deep Generative Models Machine Learning

Machine learning models are commonly trained end-to-end and in a supervised setting, using paired (input, output) data. Classical examples include recent super-resolution methods that train on pairs of (low-resolution, high-resolution) images. However, these end-to-end approaches require re-training every time there is a distribution shift in the inputs (e.g., night images vs daylight) or relevant latent variables (e.g., camera blur or hand motion). In this work, we leverage state-of-the-art (SOTA) generative models (here StyleGAN2) for building powerful image priors, which enable application of Bayes' theorem for many downstream reconstruction tasks. Our method, called Bayesian Reconstruction through Generative Models (BRGM), uses a single pre-trained generator model to solve different image restoration tasks, i.e., super-resolution and in-painting, by combining it with different forward corruption models. We demonstrate BRGM on three large, yet diverse, datasets that enable us to build powerful priors: (i) 60,000 images from the Flick Faces High Quality dataset \cite{karras2019style} (ii) 240,000 chest X-rays from MIMIC III and (iii) a combined collection of 5 brain MRI datasets with 7,329 scans. Across all three datasets and without any dataset-specific hyperparameter tuning, our approach yields state-of-the-art performance on super-resolution, particularly at low-resolution levels, as well as inpainting, compared to state-of-the-art methods that are specific to each reconstruction task. We will make our code and pre-trained models available online.