Collaborating Authors


Artificial Intellgence -- Application in Life Sciences and Beyond. The Upper Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium UR-AI 2021 Artificial Intelligence

The TriRhenaTech alliance presents the accepted papers of the 'Upper-Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium' held on October 27th 2021 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Topics of the conference are applications of Artificial Intellgence in life sciences, intelligent systems, industry 4.0, mobility and others. The TriRhenaTech alliance is a network of universities in the Upper-Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region comprising of the German universities of applied sciences in Furtwangen, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Offenburg and Trier, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Loerrach, the French university network Alsace Tech (comprised of 14 'grandes \'ecoles' in the fields of engineering, architecture and management) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The alliance's common goal is to reinforce the transfer of knowledge, research, and technology, as well as the cross-border mobility of students.

Multiway Non-rigid Point Cloud Registration via Learned Functional Map Synchronization Artificial Intelligence

We present SyNoRiM, a novel way to jointly register multiple non-rigid shapes by synchronizing the maps relating learned functions defined on the point clouds. Even though the ability to process non-rigid shapes is critical in various applications ranging from computer animation to 3D digitization, the literature still lacks a robust and flexible framework to match and align a collection of real, noisy scans observed under occlusions. Given a set of such point clouds, our method first computes the pairwise correspondences parameterized via functional maps. We simultaneously learn potentially non-orthogonal basis functions to effectively regularize the deformations, while handling the occlusions in an elegant way. To maximally benefit from the multi-way information provided by the inferred pairwise deformation fields, we synchronize the pairwise functional maps into a cycle-consistent whole thanks to our novel and principled optimization formulation. We demonstrate via extensive experiments that our method achieves a state-of-the-art performance in registration accuracy, while being flexible and efficient as we handle both non-rigid and multi-body cases in a unified framework and avoid the costly optimization over point-wise permutations by the use of basis function maps.

Conifer Seedling Detection in UAV-Imagery with RGB-Depth Information Artificial Intelligence

Monitoring of reforestation is currently being considerably streamlined through the use of drones and image recognition algorithms, which have already proven to be effective on colour imagery. In addition to colour imagery, elevation data is often also available. The primary aim of this work was to improve the performance of the faster-RCNN object detection algorithm by integrating this height information, which showed itself to notably improve performance. Interestingly, the structure of the network played a key role, with direct addition of the height information as a fourth image channel showing no improvement, while integration after the backbone network and before the region proposal network led to marked improvements. This effect persisted with very long training regimes. Increasing the resolution of this height information also showed little effect.

Roadmap on Signal Processing for Next Generation Measurement Systems Artificial Intelligence

Signal processing is a fundamental component of almost any sensor-enabled system, with a wide range of applications across different scientific disciplines. Time series data, images, and video sequences comprise representative forms of signals that can be enhanced and analysed for information extraction and quantification. The recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are shifting the research attention towards intelligent, data-driven, signal processing. This roadmap presents a critical overview of the state-of-the-art methods and applications aiming to highlight future challenges and research opportunities towards next generation measurement systems. It covers a broad spectrum of topics ranging from basic to industrial research, organized in concise thematic sections that reflect the trends and the impacts of current and future developments per research field. Furthermore, it offers guidance to researchers and funding agencies in identifying new prospects.

Repaint: Improving the Generalization of Down-Stream Visual Tasks by Generating Multiple Instances of Training Examples Artificial Intelligence

Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) for visual tasks are believed to learn both the low-level textures and high-level object attributes, throughout the network depth. This paper further investigates the `texture bias' in CNNs. To this end, we regenerate multiple instances of training examples from each original image, through a process we call `repainting'. The repainted examples preserve the shape and structure of the regions and objects within the scenes, but diversify their texture and color. Our method can regenerate a same image at different daylight, season, or weather conditions, can have colorization or de-colorization effects, or even bring back some texture information from blacked-out areas. The in-place repaint allows us to further use these repainted examples for improving the generalization of CNNs. Through an extensive set of experiments, we demonstrate the usefulness of the repainted examples in training, for the tasks of image classification (ImageNet) and object detection (COCO), over several state-of-the-art network architectures at different capacities, and across different data availability regimes.

On the Opportunities and Risks of Foundation Models Artificial Intelligence

AI is undergoing a paradigm shift with the rise of models (e.g., BERT, DALL-E, GPT-3) that are trained on broad data at scale and are adaptable to a wide range of downstream tasks. We call these models foundation models to underscore their critically central yet incomplete character. This report provides a thorough account of the opportunities and risks of foundation models, ranging from their capabilities (e.g., language, vision, robotics, reasoning, human interaction) and technical principles(e.g., model architectures, training procedures, data, systems, security, evaluation, theory) to their applications (e.g., law, healthcare, education) and societal impact (e.g., inequity, misuse, economic and environmental impact, legal and ethical considerations). Though foundation models are based on standard deep learning and transfer learning, their scale results in new emergent capabilities,and their effectiveness across so many tasks incentivizes homogenization. Homogenization provides powerful leverage but demands caution, as the defects of the foundation model are inherited by all the adapted models downstream. Despite the impending widespread deployment of foundation models, we currently lack a clear understanding of how they work, when they fail, and what they are even capable of due to their emergent properties. To tackle these questions, we believe much of the critical research on foundation models will require deep interdisciplinary collaboration commensurate with their fundamentally sociotechnical nature.

The Role of Social Movements, Coalitions, and Workers in Resisting Harmful Artificial Intelligence and Contributing to the Development of Responsible AI Artificial Intelligence

There is mounting public concern over the influence that AI based systems has in our society. Coalitions in all sectors are acting worldwide to resist hamful applications of AI. From indigenous people addressing the lack of reliable data, to smart city stakeholders, to students protesting the academic relationships with sex trafficker and MIT donor Jeffery Epstein, the questionable ethics and values of those heavily investing in and profiting from AI are under global scrutiny. There are biased, wrongful, and disturbing assumptions embedded in AI algorithms that could get locked in without intervention. Our best human judgment is needed to contain AI's harmful impact. Perhaps one of the greatest contributions of AI will be to make us ultimately understand how important human wisdom truly is in life on earth.

A Review on Edge Analytics: Issues, Challenges, Opportunities, Promises, Future Directions, and Applications Artificial Intelligence

Edge technology aims to bring Cloud resources (specifically, the compute, storage, and network) to the closed proximity of the Edge devices, i.e., smart devices where the data are produced and consumed. Embedding computing and application in Edge devices lead to emerging of two new concepts in Edge technology, namely, Edge computing and Edge analytics. Edge analytics uses some techniques or algorithms to analyze the data generated by the Edge devices. With the emerging of Edge analytics, the Edge devices have become a complete set. Currently, Edge analytics is unable to provide full support for the execution of the analytic techniques. The Edge devices cannot execute advanced and sophisticated analytic algorithms following various constraints such as limited power supply, small memory size, limited resources, etc. This article aims to provide a detailed discussion on Edge analytics. A clear explanation to distinguish between the three concepts of Edge technology, namely, Edge devices, Edge computing, and Edge analytics, along with their issues. Furthermore, the article discusses the implementation of Edge analytics to solve many problems in various areas such as retail, agriculture, industry, and healthcare. In addition, the research papers of the state-of-the-art edge analytics are rigorously reviewed in this article to explore the existing issues, emerging challenges, research opportunities and their directions, and applications.

Coordinate Independent Convolutional Networks -- Isometry and Gauge Equivariant Convolutions on Riemannian Manifolds Machine Learning

Motivated by the vast success of deep convolutional networks, there is a great interest in generalizing convolutions to non-Euclidean manifolds. A major complication in comparison to flat spaces is that it is unclear in which alignment a convolution kernel should be applied on a manifold. The underlying reason for this ambiguity is that general manifolds do not come with a canonical choice of reference frames (gauge). Kernels and features therefore have to be expressed relative to arbitrary coordinates. We argue that the particular choice of coordinatization should not affect a network's inference -- it should be coordinate independent. A simultaneous demand for coordinate independence and weight sharing is shown to result in a requirement on the network to be equivariant under local gauge transformations (changes of local reference frames). The ambiguity of reference frames depends thereby on the G-structure of the manifold, such that the necessary level of gauge equivariance is prescribed by the corresponding structure group G. Coordinate independent convolutions are proven to be equivariant w.r.t. those isometries that are symmetries of the G-structure. The resulting theory is formulated in a coordinate free fashion in terms of fiber bundles. To exemplify the design of coordinate independent convolutions, we implement a convolutional network on the M\"obius strip. The generality of our differential geometric formulation of convolutional networks is demonstrated by an extensive literature review which explains a large number of Euclidean CNNs, spherical CNNs and CNNs on general surfaces as specific instances of coordinate independent convolutions.

Highlighting the Importance of Reducing Research Bias and Carbon Emissions in CNNs Artificial Intelligence

Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have become commonplace in addressing major challenges in computer vision. Researchers are not only coming up with new CNN architectures but are also researching different techniques to improve the performance of existing architectures. However, there is a tendency to over-emphasize performance improvement while neglecting certain important variables such as simplicity, versatility, the fairness of comparisons, and energy efficiency. Overlooking these variables in architectural design and evaluation has led to research bias and a significantly negative environmental impact. Furthermore, this can undermine the positive impact of research in using deep learning models to tackle climate change. Here, we perform an extensive and fair empirical study of a number of proposed techniques to gauge the utility of each technique for segmentation and classification. Our findings restate the importance of favoring simplicity over complexity in model design (Occam's Razor). Furthermore, our results indicate that simple standardized practices can lead to a significant reduction in environmental impact with little drop in performance. We highlight that there is a need to rethink the design and evaluation of CNNs to alleviate the issue of research bias and carbon emissions.