Paul Vernaza is a former researcher at NEC Laboratories America, Inc.


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

Hierarchical Metric Learning and Matching for 2D and 3D Geometric Correspondences

Interest point descriptors have fueled progress on almost every problem in computer vision. Recent advances in deep neural networks have enabled task-specific learned descriptors that outperform hand-crafted descriptors on many problems. We demonstrate that commonly used metric learning approaches do not optimally leverage the feature hierarchies learned in a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), especially when applied to the task of geometric feature matching. While a metric loss applied to the deepest layer of a CNN, is often expected to yield ideal features irrespective of the task, in fact the growing receptive field as well as striding effects cause shallower features to be better at high precision matching tasks. We leverage this insight together with explicit supervision at multiple levels of the feature hierarchy for better regularization, to learn more effective descriptors in the context of geometric matching tasks. Further, we propose to use activation maps at different layers of a CNN, as an effective and principled replacement for the multi-resolution image pyramids often used for matching tasks. We propose concrete CNN architectures employing these ideas and evaluate them on multiple datasets for 2D and 3D geometric matching as well as optical flow, demonstrating state-of-the-art results and generalization across datasets.

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.

Learning random-walk label propagation for weakly-supervised semantic segmentation

Large-scale training for semantic segmentation is challenging due to the expense of obtaining training data for this task relative to other vision tasks. We propose a novel training approach to address this difficulty. Given cheaply-obtained sparse image labelings, we propagate the sparse labels to produce guessed dense labelings. A standard CNN-based segmentation network is trained to mimic these labelings. The label-propagation process is defined via random-walk hitting probabilities, which leads to a differentiable parameterization with uncertainty estimates that are incorporated into our loss. We show that by learning the label-propagator jointly with the segmentation predictor, we are able to effectively learn semantic edges given no direct edge supervision. Experiments also show that training a segmentation network in this way outperforms the naive approach.