We present Neural A*, a novel data-driven search method for path planning problems. Despite the recent increasing attention to data-driven path planning, a machine learning approach to search-based planning is still challenging due to the discrete nature of search algorithms. In this work, we reformulate a canonical A* search algorithm to be differentiable and couple it with a convolutional encoder to form an end-to-end trainable neural network planner. Neural A* solves a path planning problem by encoding a problem instance to a guidance map and then performing the differentiable A* search with the guidance map. By learning to match the search results with ground-truth paths provided by experts, Neural A* can produce a path consistent with the ground truth accurately and efficiently. Our extensive experiments confirmed that Neural A* outperformed state-of-the-art data-driven planners in terms of the search optimality and efficiency trade-off, and furthermore, successfully predicted realistic human trajectories by directly performing search-based planning on natural image inputs.

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Path 是 2010 年 11 月上线的一个私密的图片分享社交网络服务。2015 年 5 月,Path 宣布被 Kakao Talk 收购。

Differentiable rendering has received increasing interest for image-based inverse problems. It can benefit traditional optimization-based solutions to inverse problems, but also allows for self-supervision of learning-based approaches for which training data with ground truth annotation is hard to obtain. However, existing differentiable renderers either do not model visibility of the light sources from the different points in the scene, responsible for shadows in the images, or are too slow for being used to train deep architectures over thousands of iterations. To this end, we propose an accurate yet efficient approach for differentiable visibility and soft shadow computation. Our approach is based on the spherical harmonics approximations of the scene illumination and visibility, where the occluding surface is approximated with spheres. This allows for a significantly more efficient shadow computation compared to methods based on ray tracing. As our formulation is differentiable, it can be used to solve inverse problems such as texture, illumination, rigid pose, and geometric deformation recovery from images using analysis-by-synthesis optimization.

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Overtaking is one of the most challenging tasks in driving, and the current solutions to autonomous overtaking are limited to simple and static scenarios. In this paper, we present a method for behaviour and trajectory planning for safe autonomous overtaking. The proposed method optimizes the trajectory by simultaneously enforcing safety and minimizing intrusion onto the adjacent lane. Furthermore, the method allows the overtaking to be aborted, enabling the autonomous vehicle to merge back in the lane, if safety is compromised, because of e.g. traffic in opposing direction appearing during the maneuver execution. A finite state machine is used to select an appropriate maneuver at each time, and a combination of safe and reachable sets is used to iteratively generate intermediate reference targets based on the current maneuver. A nonlinear model predictive controller then plans dynamically feasible and collision-free trajectories to these intermediate reference targets. Simulation experiments demonstrate that the combination of intermediate reference generation and model predictive control is able to handle multiple behaviors, including following a lead vehicle, overtaking and aborting the overtake, within a single framework.

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Dynamic neural network is an emerging research topic in deep learning. Compared to static models which have fixed computational graphs and parameters at the inference stage, dynamic networks can adapt their structures or parameters to different inputs, leading to notable advantages in terms of accuracy, computational efficiency, adaptiveness, etc. In this survey, we comprehensively review this rapidly developing area by dividing dynamic networks into three main categories: 1) instance-wise dynamic models that process each instance with data-dependent architectures or parameters; 2) spatial-wise dynamic networks that conduct adaptive computation with respect to different spatial locations of image data and 3) temporal-wise dynamic models that perform adaptive inference along the temporal dimension for sequential data such as videos and texts. The important research problems of dynamic networks, e.g., architecture design, decision making scheme, optimization technique and applications, are reviewed systematically. Finally, we discuss the open problems in this field together with interesting future research directions.

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Retrosynthetic planning is a critical task in organic chemistry which identifies a series of reactions that can lead to the synthesis of a target product. The vast number of possible chemical transformations makes the size of the search space very big, and retrosynthetic planning is challenging even for experienced chemists. However, existing methods either require expensive return estimation by rollout with high variance, or optimize for search speed rather than the quality. In this paper, we propose Retro*, a neural-based A*-like algorithm that finds high-quality synthetic routes efficiently. It maintains the search as an AND-OR tree, and learns a neural search bias with off-policy data. Then guided by this neural network, it performs best-first search efficiently during new planning episodes. Experiments on benchmark USPTO datasets show that, our proposed method outperforms existing state-of-the-art with respect to both the success rate and solution quality, while being more efficient at the same time.

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Graph neural networks (GNN) has been successfully applied to operate on the graph-structured data. Given a specific scenario, rich human expertise and tremendous laborious trials are usually required to identify a suitable GNN architecture. It is because the performance of a GNN architecture is significantly affected by the choice of graph convolution components, such as aggregate function and hidden dimension. Neural architecture search (NAS) has shown its potential in discovering effective deep architectures for learning tasks in image and language modeling. However, existing NAS algorithms cannot be directly applied to the GNN search problem. First, the search space of GNN is different from the ones in existing NAS work. Second, the representation learning capacity of GNN architecture changes obviously with slight architecture modifications. It affects the search efficiency of traditional search methods. Third, widely used techniques in NAS such as parameter sharing might become unstable in GNN. To bridge the gap, we propose the automated graph neural networks (AGNN) framework, which aims to find an optimal GNN architecture within a predefined search space. A reinforcement learning based controller is designed to greedily validate architectures via small steps. AGNN has a novel parameter sharing strategy that enables homogeneous architectures to share parameters, based on a carefully-designed homogeneity definition. Experiments on real-world benchmark datasets demonstrate that the GNN architecture identified by AGNN achieves the best performance, comparing with existing handcrafted models and tradistional search methods.

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Benefit from the quick development of deep learning techniques, salient object detection has achieved remarkable progresses recently. However, there still exists following two major challenges that hinder its application in embedded devices, low resolution output and heavy model weight. To this end, this paper presents an accurate yet compact deep network for efficient salient object detection. More specifically, given a coarse saliency prediction in the deepest layer, we first employ residual learning to learn side-output residual features for saliency refinement, which can be achieved with very limited convolutional parameters while keep accuracy. Secondly, we further propose reverse attention to guide such side-output residual learning in a top-down manner. By erasing the current predicted salient regions from side-output features, the network can eventually explore the missing object parts and details which results in high resolution and accuracy. Experiments on six benchmark datasets demonstrate that the proposed approach compares favorably against state-of-the-art methods, and with advantages in terms of simplicity, efficiency (45 FPS) and model size (81 MB).

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Recently, Neural Architecture Search (NAS) has successfully identified neural network architectures that exceed human designed ones on large-scale image classification problems. In this paper, we study NAS for semantic image segmentation, an important computer vision task that assigns a semantic label to every pixel in an image. Existing works often focus on searching the repeatable cell structure, while hand-designing the outer network structure that controls the spatial resolution changes. This choice simplifies the search space, but becomes increasingly problematic for dense image prediction which exhibits a lot more network level architectural variations. Therefore, we propose to search the network level structure in addition to the cell level structure, which forms a hierarchical architecture search space. We present a network level search space that includes many popular designs, and develop a formulation that allows efficient gradient-based architecture search (3 P100 GPU days on Cityscapes images). We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method on the challenging Cityscapes, PASCAL VOC 2012, and ADE20K datasets. Without any ImageNet pretraining, our architecture searched specifically for semantic image segmentation attains state-of-the-art performance.

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We show how to train a fully convolutional neural network to perform inverse rendering from a single, uncontrolled image. The network takes an RGB image as input, regresses albedo and normal maps from which we compute lighting coefficients. Our network is trained using large uncontrolled image collections without ground truth. By incorporating a differentiable renderer, our network can learn from self-supervision. Since the problem is ill-posed we introduce additional supervision: 1. We learn a statistical natural illumination prior, 2. Our key insight is to perform offline multiview stereo (MVS) on images containing rich illumination variation. From the MVS pose and depth maps, we can cross project between overlapping views such that Siamese training can be used to ensure consistent estimation of photometric invariants. MVS depth also provides direct coarse supervision for normal map estimation. We believe this is the first attempt to use MVS supervision for learning inverse rendering.

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Deep Learning has enabled remarkable progress over the last years on a variety of tasks, such as image recognition, speech recognition, and machine translation. One crucial aspect for this progress are novel neural architectures. Currently employed architectures have mostly been developed manually by human experts, which is a time-consuming and error-prone process. Because of this, there is growing interest in automated neural architecture search methods. We provide an overview of existing work in this field of research and categorize them according to three dimensions: search space, search strategy, and performance estimation strategy.

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Querying graph structured data is a fundamental operation that enables important applications including knowledge graph search, social network analysis, and cyber-network security. However, the growing size of real-world data graphs poses severe challenges for graph databases to meet the response-time requirements of the applications. Planning the computational steps of query processing - Query Planning - is central to address these challenges. In this paper, we study the problem of learning to speedup query planning in graph databases towards the goal of improving the computational-efficiency of query processing via training queries.We present a Learning to Plan (L2P) framework that is applicable to a large class of query reasoners that follow the Threshold Algorithm (TA) approach. First, we define a generic search space over candidate query plans, and identify target search trajectories (query plans) corresponding to the training queries by performing an expensive search. Subsequently, we learn greedy search control knowledge to imitate the search behavior of the target query plans. We provide a concrete instantiation of our L2P framework for STAR, a state-of-the-art graph query reasoner. Our experiments on benchmark knowledge graphs including DBpedia, YAGO, and Freebase show that using the query plans generated by the learned search control knowledge, we can significantly improve the speed of STAR with negligible loss in accuracy.

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