Nicholas Rhinehart is a former research intern in the Media Analytics department of NEC Laboratories America, Inc. while studying at The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.


Learning Gibbs-Regularized Pushforward Density Estimators with a Symmetric KL Objective

We claim that there is currently no satisfactory way to regularize a generative adversarial network (GAN): neither the generator nor discriminator is particularly amenable to the imposition of inductive biases derived from domain knowledge. A generator is effectively a causal model of generation—one that usually bears no resemblance to the true generation process, which is most often unobserved or exceedingly difficult to model. Consider image generation: although it is plausible—e.g., from biological arguments—that convolutional neural networks constitute a good class of image classifiers, claiming CNNs are inherently well-suited to image generation is harder to justify. Likewise, it is clear that regularizing the discriminator is necessary to prevent trivial solutions; although recent methods have seen some success in applying generic smoothness regularizers to the discriminator [1, 5, 12], it is not obvious how to impose domain-specific structure on the discriminator in an optimal way

R2P2: A Reparameterized Pushforward Policy for Diverse, Precise Generative Path Forecasting

We propose a method to forecast a vehicle’s ego-motion as a distribution over spatiotemporal paths, conditioned on features (e.g., from LIDAR and images) embedded in an overhead map. The method learns a policy inducing a distribution over simulated trajectories that is both diverse (produces most paths likely under the data) and precise (mostly produces paths likely under the data). This balance is achieved through minimization of a symmetrized cross-entropy between the distribution and demonstration data. By viewing the simulated-outcome distribution as the pushforward of a simple distribution under a simulation operator, we obtain expressions for the cross-entropy metrics that can be efficiently evaluated and differentiated, enabling stochastic-gradient optimization. We propose concrete policy architectures for this model, discuss our evaluation metrics relative to previously-used metrics, and demonstrate the superiority of our method relative to state-of-the-art methods in both the KITTI dataset and a similar but novel and larger real-world dataset explicitly designed for the vehicle forecasting domain.