Kai Li is a former researcher from our Machine Learning Department.


Weakly-Supervised Temporal Action Localization with Multi-Modal Plateau Transformers

Weakly Supervised Temporal Action Localization (WSTAL) aims to jointly localize and classify action segments in untrimmed videos with only video level annotations. To leverage video level annotations most existing methods adopt the multiple instance learning paradigm where frame/snippet level action predictions are first produced and then aggregated to form a video-level prediction. Although there are trials to improve snippet-level predictions by modeling temporal relationships we argue that those implementations have not sufficiently exploited such information. In this paper we propose Multi Modal Plateau Transformers (M2PT) for WSTAL by simultaneously exploiting temporal relationships among snippets complementary information across data modalities and temporal coherence among consecutive snippets. Specifically M2PT explores a dual Transformer architecture for RGB and optical flow modalities which models intra modality temporal relationship with a self attention mechanism and inter modality temporal relationship with a cross attention mechanism. To capture the temporal coherence that consecutive snippets are supposed to be assigned with the same action M2PT deploys a Plateau model to refine the temporal localization of action segments. Experimental results on popular benchmarks demonstrate that our proposed M2PT achieves state of the art performance.

Strategic Preys Make Acute Predators: Enhancing Camouflaged Object Detectors by Generating Camouflaged Objects

Camouflaged object detection (COD) is the challenging task of identifying camouflaged objects visually blended into surroundings. Albeit achieving remarkable success, existing COD detectors still struggle to obtain precise results in some challenging cases. To handle this problem, we draw inspiration from the prey-vs-predator game that leads preys to develop better camouflage and predators to acquire more acute vision systems and develop algorithms from both the prey side and the predator side. On the prey side, we propose an adversarial trainingframework, Camouflageator, which introduces an auxiliary generator to generate more camouflaged objects that are harder for a COD method to detect. Camouflageator trains the generator and detector in an adversarial way such that the enhanced auxiliary generator helps produce a stronger detector. On the predator side, we introduce a novel COD method, called Internal Coherence and Edge Guidance (ICEG), which introduces a camouflaged feature coherence module to excavate the internal coherence of camouflaged objects, striving to obtain morecomplete segmentation results. Additionally, ICEG proposes a novel edge-guided separated calibration module to remove false predictions to avoid obtaining ambiguous boundaries. Extensive experiments show that ICEG outperforms existing COD detectors and Camouflageator is flexible to improve various COD detectors, including ICEG, which brings state-of-the-art COD performance.

Weakly-supervised Concealed Object Segmentation with SAM-based Pseudo Labeling and Multi-scale Feature Grouping

Weakly-Supervised Concealed Object Segmentation (WSCOS) aims to segment objects well blended with surrounding environments using sparsely-annotated data for model training. It remains a challenging task since (1) it is hard to distinguish concealed objects from the background due to the intrinsic similarity and (2) the sparsely-annotated training data only provide weak supervision for model learning. In this paper, we propose a new WSCOS method to address these two challenges. To tackle the intrinsic similarity challenge, we design a multi-scalefeature grouping module that first groups features at different granularities and then aggregates these grouping results. By grouping similar features together, it encourages segmentation coherence, helping obtain complete segmentation results for both single and multiple-object images. For the weak supervision challenge, we utilize the recently-proposed vision foundation model, “Segment Anything Model (SAM)”, and use the provided sparse annotations as prompts to generate segmentation masks, which are used to train the model. To alleviate the impact oflow-quality segmentation masks, we further propose a series of strategies, including multi-augmentation result ensemble, entropy-based pixel-level weighting, and entropy-based image-level selection. These strategies help provide more reliable supervision to train the segmentation model. We verify the effectiveness of our method on various WSCOS tasks, and experiments demonstrate that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance on these tasks.

NEC Labs America Team Heading to NeurIPS23 in New Orleans

NEC Labs America is proud to be a Silver Sponsor for NeurIPS 2023 in New Orleans from December 10-16. Visit our booth to meet our team and learn about our intern opportunities in machine learning, data science, media analytics and integrated systems. Also, our Vijay Kumar.B.G, Samuel Schulter & Manmohan Chandraker, along with Zaid Khan, Northeastern University and Yun Fu, UC San Diego will present a paper, Exploring Question Decomposition for Zero-Shot VQA.

Source-Free Domain Adaptive Fundus Image Segmentation with Class-Balanced Mean Teacher

This paper studies source-free domain adaptive fundus image segmentation which aims to adapt a pretrained fundus segmentation model to a target domain using unlabeled images. This is a challenging task because it is highly risky to adapt a model only using unlabeled data. Most existing methods tackle this task mainly by designing techniques to carefully generate pseudo labels from the model’s predictions and use the pseudo labels to train the model. While often obtaining positive adaption effects, these methods suffer from two major issues. First, they tend to be fairly unstable – incorrect pseudo labels abruptly emerged may cause a catastrophic impact on the model. Second, they fail to consider the severe class imbalance of fundus images where the foreground (e.g., cup) region is usually very small. This paper aims to address these two issues by proposing the Class-Balanced Mean Teacher (CBMT) model. CBMT addresses the unstable issue by proposing a weak-strong augmented mean teacher learning scheme where only the teacher model generates pseudo labels from weakly augmented images to train a student model that takes strongly augmented images as input. The teacher is updated as the moving average of the instantly trained student, which could be noisy. This prevents the teacher model from being abruptly impacted by incorrect pseudo-labels. For the class imbalance issue, CBMT proposes a novel loss calibration approach to highlight foreground classes according to global statistics. Experiments show that CBMT well addresses these two issues and outperforms existing methods on multiple benchmarks.

Personalized Semantics Excitation for Federated Image Classification

Federated learning casts a light on the collaboration of distributed local clients with privacy protected to attain a more generic global model. However, significant distribution shift in input/label space across different clients makes it challenging to well generalize to all clients, which motivates personalized federated learning (PFL). Existing PFL methods typically customize the local model by fine-tuning with limited local supervision and the global model regularizer, which secures local specificity but risks ruining the global discriminative knowledge. In this paper, we propose a novel Personalized Semantics Excitation (PSE) mechanism to breakthrough this limitation by exciting and fusing personalized semantics from the global model during local model customization. Specifically, PSE explores channel-wise gradient differentiation across global and local models to identify important low-level semantics mostly from convolutional layers which are embedded into the client-specific training.In addition, PSE deploys the collaboration of global and local models to enrich high-level feature representations and facilitate the robustness of client classifier through a cross-model attention module. Extensive experiments and analysis on various image classification benchmarks demonstrate the effectiveness and advantage of our method over the state-of-the-art PFL methods.

Few-Shot Video Classification via Representation Fusion and Promotion Learning

Recent few-shot video classification (FSVC) works achieve promising performance by capturing similarity across support and query samples with different temporal alignment strategies or learning discriminative features via Transformer block within each episode. However, they ignore two important issues: a) It is difficult to capture rich intrinsic action semantics from a limited number of support instances within each task. b) Redundant or irrelevant frames in videos easily weaken the positive influence of discriminative frames. To address these two issues, this paper proposes a novel Representation Fusion and Promotion Learning (RFPL) mechanism with two sub-modules: meta-action learning (MAL) and reinforced image representation (RIR). Concretely, during training stage, we perform online learning for seeking a task-shared meta-action bank to enrich task-specific action representation by injecting global knowledge. Besides, we exploit reinforcement learning to obtain the importance of each frame and refine the representation. This operation maximizes the contribution of discriminative frames to further capture the similarity of support and query samples from the same category. Our RFPL framework is highly flexible that it can be integrated with many existing FSVC methods. Extensive experiments show that RFPL significantly enhances the performance of existing FSVC models when integrated with them.

Degradation-Resistant Unfolding Network for Heterogeneous Image Fusion

Heterogeneous image fusion (HIF) aims to enhance image quality by merging complementary information of images captured by different sensors. Early model-based approaches have strong interpretability while being limited by non-adaptive feature extractors with poor generalizability.

Improving Cross-Domain Detection with Self-Supervised Learning

Cross-Domain Detection (XDD) aims to train a domain-adaptive object detector using unlabeled images from a target domain and labeled images from a source domain. Existing approaches achieve this either by aligning the feature maps or the region proposals from the two domains, or by transferring the style of source images to that of target images. In this paper, rather than proposing another method following the existing lines, we introduce a new framework complementary to existing methods. Our framework unifies some popular Self-Supervised Learning (SSL) techniques (e.g., rotation angle prediction, strong/weak data augmentation, mean teacher modeling) and adapts them to the XDD task. Our basic idea is to leverage the unsupervised nature of these SSL techniques and apply them simultaneously across domains (source and target) and models (student and teacher). These SSL techniques can thus serve as shared bridges that facilitate knowledge transfer between domains. More importantly, as these techniques are independently applied in each domain, they are complementary to existing domain alignment techniques that relies on interactions between domains (e.g., adversarial alignment). We perform extensive analyses on these SSL techniques and show that they significantly improve the performance of existing methods. In addition, we reach comparable or even better performance than the state-of-the-art methods when integrating our framework with an old well-established method.

Source-Free Video Domain Adaptation with Spatial-Temporal-Historical Consistency Learning

Source-free domain adaptation (SFDA) is an emerging research topic that studies how to adapt a pretrained source model using unlabeled target data. It is derived from unsupervised domain adaptation but has the advantage of not requiring labeled source data to learn adaptive models. This makes it particularly useful in real-world applications where access to source data is restricted. While there has been some SFDA work for images, little attention has been paid to videos. Naively extending image-based methods to videos without considering the unique properties of videos often leads to unsatisfactory results. In this paper, we propose a simple and highly flexible method for Source-Free Video Domain Adaptation (SFVDA), which extensively exploits consistency learning for videos from spatial, temporal, and historical perspectives. Our method is based on the assumption that videos of the same action category are drawn from the same low-dimensional space, regardless of the spatio-temporal variations in the high-dimensional space that cause domain shifts. To overcome domain shifts, we simulate spatio-temporal variations by applying spatial and temporal augmentations on target videos, and encourage the model to make consistent predictions from a video and its augmented versions. Due to the simple design, our method can be applied to various SFVDA settings, and experiments show that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance for all the settings.