Media Analytics

Our Media Analytics team overcomes fundamental challenges in computer vision and addresses key needs in mobility, security, safety and socially relevant AI. We solve fundamental challenges in computer vision, with a focus on understanding and interaction in 3D scenes, representation learning in visual and multimodal data, learning across domains and tasks, as well as responsible AI. Our technological breakthroughs contribute to socially-relevant solutions that address key enterprise needs in mobility, safety and smart spaces. Read our media analytics news and publications by our team of researchers.

Posts

OpEnCam: Optical Encryption Camera

Lensless cameras multiplex the incoming light before it is recorded by the sensor. This ability to multiplex the incoming light has led to the development of ultra-thin, high-speed, and single-shot 3D imagers. Recently, there have been various attempts at demonstrating another useful aspect of lensless cameras – their ability to preserve the privacy of a scene by capturing encrypted measurements. However, existing lensless camera designs suffer numerous inherent privacy vulnerabilities. To demonstrate this, we develop the first comprehensive attack model for encryption cameras, and propose OpEnCam — a novel lensless OPtical ENcryption CAmera design that overcomes these vulnerabilities. OpEnCam encrypts the incoming light before capturing it using the modulating ability of optical masks. Recovery of the original scene from an OpEnCam measurement is possible only if one has access to the camera’s encryption key, defined by the unique optical elements of each camera. Our OpEnCam design introduces two major improvements over existing lensless camera designs – (a) the use of two co-axially located optical masks, one stuck to the sensor and the other a few millimeters above the sensor and (b) the design of mask patterns, which are derived heuristically from signal processing ideas. We show, through experiments, that OpEnCam is robust against a range of attack types while still maintaining the imaging capabilities of existing lensless cameras. We validate the efficacy of OpEnCam using simulated and real data. Finally, we built and tested a prototype in the lab for proof-of-concept.

LLM-ASSIST: Enhancing Closed-Loop Planning with Language-Based Reasoning

Although planning is a crucial component of the autonomous driving stack, researchers have yet to develop robust planning algorithms that are capable of safely handling the diverse range of possible driving scenarios. Learning-based planners suffer from overfitting and poor long-tail performance. On the other hand, rule-based planners generalize well, but might fail to handle scenarios that require complex driving maneuvers. To address these limitations, we investigate the possibility of leveraging the common-sense reasoning capabilities of Large Language Models (LLMs) such as GPT4 and Llama2 to generate plans for self-driving vehicles. In particular, we develop a novel hybrid planner that leverages a conventional rule-based planner in conjunction with an LLM-based planner. Guided by commonsense reasoning abilities of LLMs, our approach navigates complex scenarios which existing planners struggle with, produces well-reasoned outputs while also remaining grounded through working alongside the rule-based approach. Through extensive evaluation on the nuPlan benchmark, we achieve state-of-the-art performance, outperforming all existing pure learning- and rule-based methods across most metrics. Our code will be available at https://llmassist.github.io/

Controllable Safety-Critical Closed-Loop Traffic Simulation via Guided Diffusion

Evaluating the performance of autonomous vehicle planning algorithms necessitates simulating long-tail traffic scenarios. Traditional methods for generating safety-critical scenarios often fall short in realism and controllability. Furthermore, these techniques generally neglect the dynamics of agent interactions. To mitigate these limitations, we introduce a novel closed-loop simulation framework rooted in guided diffusion models. Our approach yields two distinct advantages: 1) the generation of realistic long-tail scenarios that closely emulate real-world conditions, and 2) enhanced controllability, enabling more comprehensive and interactive evaluations. We achieve this through novel guidance objectives that enhance road progress while lowering collision and off-road rates. We develop a novel approach to simulate safety-critical scenarios through an adversarial term in the denoising process, which allows the adversarial agent to challenge a planner with plausible maneuvers, while all agents in the scene exhibit reactive and realistic behaviors. We validate our framework empirically using the NuScenes dataset, demonstrating improvements in both realism and controllability. These findings affirm that guided diffusion models provide a robust and versatile foundation for safety-critical, interactive traffic simulation, extending their utility across the broader landscape of autonomous driving. For additional resources and demonstrations, visit our project page at https://safe-sim.github.io/

OmniLabel: A Challenging Benchmark for Language-Based Object Detection

Language-based object detection is a promising direction towards building a natural interface to describe objects in images that goes far beyond plain category names. While recent methods show great progress in that direction, proper evaluation is lacking. With OmniLabel, we propose a novel task definition, dataset, and evaluation metric. The task subsumes standard and open-vocabulary detection as well as referring expressions. With more than 30K unique object descriptions on over 25K images, OmniLabel provides a challenge benchmark with diverse and complex object descriptions in a naturally open-vocabulary setting. Moreover, a key differentiation to existing benchmarks is that our object descriptions can refer to one, multiple or even no object, hence, providing negative examples in free-form text. The proposed evaluation handles the large label space and judges performance via a modified average precision metric, which we validate by evaluating strong language-based baselines. OmniLabel indeed provides a challenging test bed for future research on language-based detection.

LDP-Feat: Image Features with Local Differential Privacy

LDP-Feat: Image Features with Local Differential Privacy Modern computer vision services often require users to share raw feature descriptors with an untrusted server. This presents an inherent privacy risk, as raw descriptors may be used to recover the source images from which they were extracted. To address this issue, researchers recently proposed privatizing image features by embedding them within an affine subspace containing the original feature as well as adversarial feature samples. In this paper, we propose two novel inversion attacks to show that it is possible to (approximately) recover the original image features from these embeddings, allowing us to recover privacy-critical image content. In light of such successes and the lack of theoretical privacy guarantees afforded by existing visual privacy methods, we further propose the first method to privatize image features via local differential privacy, which, unlike prior approaches, provides a guaranteed bound for privacy leakage regardless of the strength of the attacks. In addition, our method yields strong performance in visual localization as a downstream task while enjoying the privacy guarantee.

Efficient Controllable Multi-Task Architectures

Efficient Controllable Multi-Task Architectures We aim to train a multi-task model such that users can adjust the desired compute budget and relative importance of task performances after deployment, without retraining. This enables optimizing performance for dynamically varying user needs, without heavy computational overhead to train and save models for various scenarios. To this end, we propose a multi-task model consisting of a shared encoder and task-specific decoders where both encoder and decoder channel widths are slimmable. Our key idea is to control the task importance by varying the capacities of task-specific decoders, while controlling the total computational cost by jointly adjusting the encoder capacity. This improves overall accuracy by allowing a stronger encoder for a given budget, increases control over computational cost, and delivers high-quality slimmed sub-architectures based on user’s constraints. Our training strategy involves a novel `Configuration-Invariant Knowledge Distillation’ loss that enforces backbone representations to be invariant under different runtime width configurations to enhance accuracy. Further, we present a simple but effective search algorithm that translates user constraints to runtime width configurations of both the shared encoder and task decoders, for sampling the sub-architectures. The key rule for the search algorithm is to provide a larger computational budget to the higher preferred task decoder, while searching a shared encoder configuration that enhances the overall MTL performance. Various experiments on three multi-task benchmarks (PASCALContext, NYUDv2, and CIFAR100-MTL) with diverse backbone architectures demonstrate the advantage of our approach. For example, our method shows a higher controllability by 33.5% in the NYUD-v2 dataset over prior methods, while incurring much less compute cost.

Domain Generalization Guided by Gradient Signal to Noise Ratio of Parameters

Overfitting to the source domain is a common issue in gradient-based training of deep neural networks. To compensate for the over-parameterized models, numerous regularization techniques have been introduced such as those based on dropout. While these methods achieve significant improvements on classical benchmarks such as ImageNet, their performance diminishes with the introduction of domain shift in the test set i.e. when the unseen data comes from a significantly different distribution. In this paper, we move away from the classical approach of Bernoulli sampled dropout mask construction and propose to base the selection on gradient-signal-to-noise ratio (GSNR) of network’s parameters. Specifically, at each training step, parameters with high GSNR will be discarded. Furthermore, we alleviate the burden of manually searching for the optimal dropout ratio by leveraging a meta-learning approach. We evaluate our method on standard domain generalization benchmarks and achieve competitive results on classification and face anti-spoofing problems.

Improving Pseudo Labels for Open-Vocabulary Object Detection

Improving Pseudo Labels for Open-Vocabulary Object Detection Recent studies show promising performance in open-vocabulary object detection (OVD) using pseudo labels (PLs) from pretrained vision and language models (VLMs). However, PLs generated by VLMs are extremely noisy due to the gap between the pretraining objective of VLMs and OVD, which blocks further advances on PLs. In this paper, we aim to reduce the noise in PLs and propose a method called online Self-training And a Split-and-fusion head for OVD (SAS-Det). First, the self-training finetunes VLMs to generate high quality PLs while prevents forgetting the knowledge learned in the pretraining. Second, a split-and-fusion (SAF) head is designed to remove the noise in localization of PLs, which is usually ignored in existing methods. It also fuses complementary knowledge learned from both precise ground truth and noisy pseudo labels to boost the performance. Extensive experiments demonstrate SAS-Det is both efficient and effective. Our pseudo labeling is 3 times faster than prior methods. SAS-Det outperforms prior state-of-the-art models of the same scale by a clear margin and achieves 37.4 AP50 and 27.3 APr on novel categories of the COCO and LVIS benchmarks, respectively.

Confidence and Dispersity Speak: Characterizing Prediction Matrix for Unsupervised Accuracy Estimation

Confidence and Dispersity Speak: Characterizing Prediction Matrix for Unsupervised Accuracy Estimation This work aims to assess how well a model performs under distribution shifts without using labels. While recent methods study prediction confidence, this work reports prediction dispersity is another informative cue. Confidence reflects whether the individual prediction is certain; dispersity indicates how the overall predictions are distributed across all categories. Our key insight is that a well-performing model should give predictions with high confidence and high dispersity. That is, we need to consider both properties so as to make more accurate estimates. To this end, we use the nuclear norm that has been shown to be effective in characterizing both properties. Extensive experiments validate the effectiveness of nuclear norm for various models (e.g., ViT and ConvNeXt), different datasets (e.g., ImageNet and CUB-200), and diverse types of distribution shifts (e.g., style shift and reproduction shift). We show that the nuclear norm is more accurate and robust in accuracy estimation than existing methods. Furthermore, we validate the feasibility of other measurements (e.g., mutual information maximization) for characterizing dispersity and confidence. Lastly, we investigate the limitation of the nuclear norm, study its improved variant under severe class imbalance, and discuss potential directions.

NeurOCS: Neural NOCS Supervision for Monocular 3D Object Localization

NeurOCS: Neural NOCS Supervision for Monocular 3D Object Localization Monocular 3D object localization in driving scenes is a crucial task, but challenging due to its ill-posed nature. Estimating 3D coordinates for each pixel on the object surface holds great potential as it provides dense 2D-3D geometric constraints for the underlying PnP problem. However, high-quality ground truth supervision is not available in driving scenes due to sparsity and various artifacts of Lidar data, as well as the practical infeasibility of collecting per-instance CAD models. In this work, we present NeurOCS, a framework that uses instance masks and 3D boxes as input to learn 3D object shapes by means of differentiable rendering, which further serves as supervision for learning dense object coordinates. Our approach rests on insights in learning a category-level shape prior directly from real driving scenes, while properly handling single-view ambiguities. Furthermore, we study and make critical design choices to learn object coordinates more effectively from an object-centric view. Altogether, our framework leads to new state-of-the-art in monocular 3D localization that ranks 1st on the KITTI-Object benchmark among published monocular methods.