This report summarizes IROS 2019-Lifelong Robotic Vision Competition (Lifelong Object Recognition Challenge) with methods and results from the top $8$ finalists (out of over~$150$ teams). The competition dataset (L)ifel(O)ng (R)obotic V(IS)ion (OpenLORIS) - Object Recognition (OpenLORIS-object) is designed for driving lifelong/continual learning research and application in robotic vision domain, with everyday objects in home, office, campus, and mall scenarios. The dataset explicitly quantifies the variants of illumination, object occlusion, object size, camera-object distance/angles, and clutter information. Rules are designed to quantify the learning capability of the robotic vision system when faced with the objects appearing in the dynamic environments in the contest. Individual reports, dataset information, rules, and released source code can be found at the project homepage: "https://lifelong-robotic-vision.github.io/competition/".
Is it possible to guess human action from dialogue alone? In this work we investigate the link between spoken words and actions in movies. We note that movie screenplays describe actions, as well as contain the speech of characters and hence can be used to learn this correlation with no additional supervision. We train a BERT-based Speech2Action classifier on over a thousand movie screenplays, to predict action labels from transcribed speech segments. We then apply this model to the speech segments of a large unlabelled movie corpus (188M speech segments from 288K movies). Using the predictions of this model, we obtain weak action labels for over 800K video clips. By training on these video clips, we demonstrate superior action recognition performance on standard action recognition benchmarks, without using a single manually labelled action example.
Reinforcement learning (RL) is a popular paradigm for addressing sequential decision tasks in which the agent has only limited environmental feedback. Despite many advances over the past three decades, learning in many domains still requires a large amount of interaction with the environment, which can be prohibitively expensive in realistic scenarios. To address this problem, transfer learning has been applied to reinforcement learning such that experience gained in one task can be leveraged when starting to learn the next, harder task. More recently, several lines of research have explored how tasks, or data samples themselves, can be sequenced into a curriculum for the purpose of learning a problem that may otherwise be too difficult to learn from scratch. In this article, we present a framework for curriculum learning (CL) in reinforcement learning, and use it to survey and classify existing CL methods in terms of their assumptions, capabilities, and goals. Finally, we use our framework to find open problems and suggest directions for future RL curriculum learning research.
This paper presents a comprehensive survey on vision-based robotic grasping. We concluded four key tasks during robotic grasping, which are object localization, pose estimation, grasp detection and motion planning. In detail, object localization includes object detection and segmentation methods, pose estimation includes RGB-based and RGB-D-based methods, grasp detection includes traditional methods and deep learning-based methods, motion planning includes analytical methods, imitating learning methods, and reinforcement learning methods. Besides, lots of methods accomplish some of the tasks jointly, such as object-detection-combined 6D pose estimation, grasp detection without pose estimation, end-to-end grasp detection, and end-to-end motion planning. These methods are reviewed elaborately in this survey. What's more, related datasets are summarized and comparisons between state-of-the-art methods are given for each task. Challenges about robotic grasping are presented, and future directions in addressing these challenges are also pointed out.
State-of-the-art named entity recognition (NER) systems have been improving continuously using neural architectures over the past several years. However, many tasks including NER require large sets of annotated data to achieve such performance. In particular, we focus on NER from clinical notes, which is one of the most fundamental and critical problems for medical text analysis. Our work centers on effectively adapting these neural architectures towards low-resource settings using parameter transfer methods. We complement a standard hierarchical NER model with a general transfer learning framework consisting of parameter sharing between the source and target tasks, and showcase scores significantly above the baseline architecture. These sharing schemes require an exponential search over tied parameter sets to generate an optimal configuration. To mitigate the problem of exhaustively searching for model optimization, we propose the Dynamic Transfer Networks (DTN), a gated architecture which learns the appropriate parameter sharing scheme between source and target datasets. DTN achieves the improvements of the optimized transfer learning framework with just a single training setting, effectively removing the need for exponential search.
We propose a 3D object detection method for autonomous driving by fully exploiting the sparse and dense, semantic and geometry information in stereo imagery. Our method, called Stereo R-CNN, extends Faster R-CNN for stereo inputs to simultaneously detect and associate object in left and right images. We add extra branches after stereo Region Proposal Network (RPN) to predict sparse keypoints, viewpoints, and object dimensions, which are combined with 2D left-right boxes to calculate a coarse 3D object bounding box. We then recover the accurate 3D bounding box by a region-based photometric alignment using left and right RoIs. Our method does not require depth input and 3D position supervision, however, outperforms all existing fully supervised image-based methods. Experiments on the challenging KITTI dataset show that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art stereo-based method by around 30% AP on both 3D detection and 3D localization tasks. Code will be made publicly available.
We present a unified framework tackling two problems: class-specific 3D reconstruction from a single image, and generation of new 3D shape samples. These tasks have received considerable attention recently; however, existing approaches rely on 3D supervision, annotation of 2D images with keypoints or poses, and/or training with multiple views of each object instance. Our framework is very general: it can be trained in similar settings to these existing approaches, while also supporting weaker supervision scenarios. Importantly, it can be trained purely from 2D images, without ground-truth pose annotations, and with a single view per instance. We employ meshes as an output representation, instead of voxels used in most prior work. This allows us to exploit shading information during training, which previous 2D-supervised methods cannot. Thus, our method can learn to generate and reconstruct concave object classes. We evaluate our approach on synthetic data in various settings, showing that (i) it learns to disentangle shape from pose; (ii) using shading in the loss improves performance; (iii) our model is comparable or superior to state-of-the-art voxel-based approaches on quantitative metrics, while producing results that are visually more pleasing; (iv) it still performs well when given supervision weaker than in prior works.
In this paper we present a large-scale visual object detection and tracking benchmark, named VisDrone2018, aiming at advancing visual understanding tasks on the drone platform. The images and video sequences in the benchmark were captured over various urban/suburban areas of 14 different cities across China from north to south. Specifically, VisDrone2018 consists of 263 video clips and 10,209 images (no overlap with video clips) with rich annotations, including object bounding boxes, object categories, occlusion, truncation ratios, etc. With intensive amount of effort, our benchmark has more than 2.5 million annotated instances in 179,264 images/video frames. Being the largest such dataset ever published, the benchmark enables extensive evaluation and investigation of visual analysis algorithms on the drone platform. In particular, we design four popular tasks with the benchmark, including object detection in images, object detection in videos, single object tracking, and multi-object tracking. All these tasks are extremely challenging in the proposed dataset due to factors such as occlusion, large scale and pose variation, and fast motion. We hope the benchmark largely boost the research and development in visual analysis on drone platforms.
Tracking humans that are interacting with the other subjects or environment remains unsolved in visual tracking, because the visibility of the human of interests in videos is unknown and might vary over time. In particular, it is still difficult for state-of-the-art human trackers to recover complete human trajectories in crowded scenes with frequent human interactions. In this work, we consider the visibility status of a subject as a fluent variable, whose change is mostly attributed to the subject's interaction with the surrounding, e.g., crossing behind another object, entering a building, or getting into a vehicle, etc. We introduce a Causal And-Or Graph (C-AOG) to represent the causal-effect relations between an object's visibility fluent and its activities, and develop a probabilistic graph model to jointly reason the visibility fluent change (e.g., from visible to invisible) and track humans in videos. We formulate this joint task as an iterative search of a feasible causal graph structure that enables fast search algorithm, e.g., dynamic programming method. We apply the proposed method on challenging video sequences to evaluate its capabilities of estimating visibility fluent changes of subjects and tracking subjects of interests over time. Results with comparisons demonstrate that our method outperforms the alternative trackers and can recover complete trajectories of humans in complicated scenarios with frequent human interactions.
In this work, we present a method for tracking and learning the dynamics of all objects in a large scale robot environment. A mobile robot patrols the environment and visits the different locations one by one. Movable objects are discovered by change detection, and tracked throughout the robot deployment. For tracking, we extend the Rao-Blackwellized particle filter of previous work with birth and death processes, enabling the method to handle an arbitrary number of objects. Target births and associations are sampled using Gibbs sampling. The parameters of the system are then learnt using the Expectation Maximization algorithm in an unsupervised fashion. The system therefore enables learning of the dynamics of one particular environment, and of its objects. The algorithm is evaluated on data collected autonomously by a mobile robot in an office environment during a real-world deployment. We show that the algorithm automatically identifies and tracks the moving objects within 3D maps and infers plausible dynamics models, significantly decreasing the modeling bias of our previous work. The proposed method represents an improvement over previous methods for environment dynamics learning as it allows for learning of fine grained processes.
Detecting objects and estimating their pose remains as one of the major challenges of the computer vision research community. There exists a compromise between localizing the objects and estimating their viewpoints. The detector ideally needs to be view-invariant, while the pose estimation process should be able to generalize towards the category-level. This work is an exploration of using deep learning models for solving both problems simultaneously. For doing so, we propose three novel deep learning architectures, which are able to perform a joint detection and pose estimation, where we gradually decouple the two tasks. We also investigate whether the pose estimation problem should be solved as a classification or regression problem, being this still an open question in the computer vision community. We detail a comparative analysis of all our solutions and the methods that currently define the state of the art for this problem. We use PASCAL3D+ and ObjectNet3D datasets to present the thorough experimental evaluation and main results. With the proposed models we achieve the state-of-the-art performance in both datasets.