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2015


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Spike train SIMilarity Space (SSIMS): A framework for single neuron and ensemble data analysis

Vargas-Irwin, C. E., Brandman, D. M., Zimmermann, J. B., Donoghue, J. P., Black, M. J.

Neural Computation, 27(1):1-31, MIT Press, January 2015 (article)

Abstract
We present a method to evaluate the relative similarity of neural spiking patterns by combining spike train distance metrics with dimensionality reduction. Spike train distance metrics provide an estimate of similarity between activity patterns at multiple temporal resolutions. Vectors of pair-wise distances are used to represent the intrinsic relationships between multiple activity patterns at the level of single units or neuronal ensembles. Dimensionality reduction is then used to project the data into concise representations suitable for clustering analysis as well as exploratory visualization. Algorithm performance and robustness are evaluated using multielectrode ensemble activity data recorded in behaving primates. We demonstrate how Spike train SIMilarity Space (SSIMS) analysis captures the relationship between goal directions for an 8-directional reaching task and successfully segregates grasp types in a 3D grasping task in the absence of kinematic information. The algorithm enables exploration of virtually any type of neural spiking (time series) data, providing similarity-based clustering of neural activity states with minimal assumptions about potential information encoding models.

pdf: publisher site pdf: author's proof DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2015

pdf: publisher site pdf: author's proof DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Efficient Facade Segmentation using Auto-Context

Jampani, V., Gadde, R., Gehler, P. V.

In Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2015 IEEE Winter Conference on, pages: 1038-1045, IEEE, January 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper we propose a system for the problem of facade segmentation. Building facades are highly structured images and consequently most methods that have been proposed for this problem, aim to make use of this strong prior information. We are describing a system that is almost domain independent and consists of standard segmentation methods. A sequence of boosted decision trees is stacked using auto-context features and learned using the stacked generalization technique. We find that this, albeit standard, technique performs better, or equals, all previous published empirical results on all available facade benchmark datasets. The proposed method is simple to implement, easy to extend, and very efficient at test time inference.

website pdf supplementary IEEE page link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

website pdf supplementary IEEE page link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


Thumb xl screenshot area 2015 07 27 004943
Norm-induced entropies for decision forests

Lassner, C., Lienhart, R.

IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), January 2015 (conference)

Abstract
The entropy measurement function is a central element of decision forest induction. The Shannon entropy and other generalized entropies such as the Renyi and Tsallis entropy are designed to fulfill the Khinchin-Shannon axioms. Whereas these axioms are appropriate for physical systems, they do not necessarily model well the artificial system of decision forest induction. In this paper, we show that when omitting two of the four axioms, every norm induces an entropy function. The remaining two axioms are sufficient to describe the requirements for an entropy function in the decision forest context. Furthermore, we introduce and analyze the p-norm-induced entropy, show relations to existing entropies and the relation to various heuristics that are commonly used for decision forest training. In experiments with classification, regression and the recently introduced Hough forests, we show how the discrete and differential form of the new entropy can be used for forest induction and how the functions can simply be fine-tuned. The experiments indicate that the impact of the entropy function is limited, however can be a simple and useful post-processing step for optimizing decision forests for high performance applications.

pdf code [BibTex]

pdf code [BibTex]


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Dataset Suite for Benchmarking Perception in Robotics

Ahmad, A., Lima, P.

In International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2015, 2015 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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FlowCap: 2D Human Pose from Optical Flow

Romero, J., Loper, M., Black, M. J.

In Pattern Recognition, Proc. 37th German Conference on Pattern Recognition (GCPR), LNCS 9358, pages: 412-423, Springer, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We estimate 2D human pose from video using only optical flow. The key insight is that dense optical flow can provide information about 2D body pose. Like range data, flow is largely invariant to appearance but unlike depth it can be directly computed from monocular video. We demonstrate that body parts can be detected from dense flow using the same random forest approach used by the Microsoft Kinect. Unlike range data, however, when people stop moving, there is no optical flow and they effectively disappear. To address this, our FlowCap method uses a Kalman filter to propagate body part positions and ve- locities over time and a regression method to predict 2D body pose from part centers. No range sensor is required and FlowCap estimates 2D human pose from monocular video sources containing human motion. Such sources include hand-held phone cameras and archival television video. We demonstrate 2D body pose estimation in a range of scenarios and show that the method works with real-time optical flow. The results suggest that optical flow shares invariances with range data that, when complemented with tracking, make it valuable for pose estimation.

video pdf preprint Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

video pdf preprint Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


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Towards Optimal Robot Navigation in Urban Homes

Ventura, R., Ahmad, A.

In RoboCup 2014: Robot World Cup XVIII, pages: 318-331, Lecture Notes in Computer Science ; 8992, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The work presented in this paper is motivated by the goal of dependable autonomous navigation of mobile robots. This goal is a fundamental requirement for having autonomous robots in spaces such as domestic spaces and public establishments, left unattended by technical staff. In this paper we tackle this problem by taking an optimization approach: on one hand, we use a Fast Marching Approach for path planning, resulting in optimal paths in the absence of unmapped obstacles, and on the other hand we use a Dynamic Window Approach for guidance. To the best of our knowledge, the combination of these two methods is novel. We evaluate the approach on a real mobile robot, capable of moving at high speed. The evaluation makes use of an external ground truth system. We report controlled experiments that we performed, including the presence of people moving randomly nearby the robot. In our long term experiments we report a total distance of 18 km traveled during 11 hours of movement time.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Metric Regression Forests for Correspondence Estimation

Pons-Moll, G., Taylor, J., Shotton, J., Hertzmann, A., Fitzgibbon, A.

International Journal of Computer Vision, pages: 1-13, 2015 (article)

springer PDF Project Page [BibTex]

springer PDF Project Page [BibTex]


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Joint 3D Object and Layout Inference from a single RGB-D Image

(Best Paper Award)

Geiger, A., Wang, C.

In German Conference on Pattern Recognition (GCPR), 9358, pages: 183-195, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer International Publishing, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Inferring 3D objects and the layout of indoor scenes from a single RGB-D image captured with a Kinect camera is a challenging task. Towards this goal, we propose a high-order graphical model and jointly reason about the layout, objects and superpixels in the image. In contrast to existing holistic approaches, our model leverages detailed 3D geometry using inverse graphics and explicitly enforces occlusion and visibility constraints for respecting scene properties and projective geometry. We cast the task as MAP inference in a factor graph and solve it efficiently using message passing. We evaluate our method with respect to several baselines on the challenging NYUv2 indoor dataset using 21 object categories. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed method is able to infer scenes with a large degree of clutter and occlusions.

pdf suppmat video project DOI [BibTex]

pdf suppmat video project DOI [BibTex]


Thumb xl screen shot 2015 05 07 at 11.56.54
3D Object Class Detection in the Wild

Pepik, B., Stark, M., Gehler, P., Ritschel, T., Schiele, B.

In Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops (CVPRW), IEEE, 2015 (inproceedings)

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


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Discrete Optimization for Optical Flow

Menze, M., Heipke, C., Geiger, A.

In German Conference on Pattern Recognition (GCPR), 9358, pages: 16-28, Springer International Publishing, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose to look at large-displacement optical flow from a discrete point of view. Motivated by the observation that sub-pixel accuracy is easily obtained given pixel-accurate optical flow, we conjecture that computing the integral part is the hardest piece of the problem. Consequently, we formulate optical flow estimation as a discrete inference problem in a conditional random field, followed by sub-pixel refinement. Naive discretization of the 2D flow space, however, is intractable due to the resulting size of the label set. In this paper, we therefore investigate three different strategies, each able to reduce computation and memory demands by several orders of magnitude. Their combination allows us to estimate large-displacement optical flow both accurately and efficiently and demonstrates the potential of discrete optimization for optical flow. We obtain state-of-the-art performance on MPI Sintel and KITTI.

pdf suppmat project DOI [BibTex]

pdf suppmat project DOI [BibTex]


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Joint 3D Estimation of Vehicles and Scene Flow

Menze, M., Heipke, C., Geiger, A.

In Proc. of the ISPRS Workshop on Image Sequence Analysis (ISA), 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Three-dimensional reconstruction of dynamic scenes is an important prerequisite for applications like mobile robotics or autonomous driving. While much progress has been made in recent years, imaging conditions in natural outdoor environments are still very challenging for current reconstruction and recognition methods. In this paper, we propose a novel unified approach which reasons jointly about 3D scene flow as well as the pose, shape and motion of vehicles in the scene. Towards this goal, we incorporate a deformable CAD model into a slanted-plane conditional random field for scene flow estimation and enforce shape consistency between the rendered 3D models and the parameters of all superpixels in the image. The association of superpixels to objects is established by an index variable which implicitly enables model selection. We evaluate our approach on the challenging KITTI scene flow dataset in terms of object and scene flow estimation. Our results provide a prove of concept and demonstrate the usefulness of our method.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Setup for multi-UAV hardware-in-the-loop simulations

Odelga, M., Stegagno, P., Bülthoff, H., Ahmad, A.

In pages: 204-210, IEEE, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we present a hardware in the loop simulation setup for multi-UAV systems. With our setup, we are able to command the robots simulated in Gazebo, a popular open source ROS-enabled physical simulator, using the computational units that are embedded on our quadrotor UAVs. Hence, we can test in simulation not only the correct execution of algorithms, but also the computational feasibility directly on the robot hardware. In addition, since our setup is inherently multi-robot, we can also test the communication flow among the robots. We provide two use cases to show the characteristics of our setup.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Smooth Loops from Unconstrained Video

Sevilla-Lara, L., Wulff, J., Sunkavalli, K., Shechtman, E.

In Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of EGSR), 34(4):99-107, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Converting unconstrained video sequences into videos that loop seamlessly is an extremely challenging problem. In this work, we take the first steps towards automating this process by focusing on an important subclass of videos containing a single dominant foreground object. Our technique makes two novel contributions over previous work: first, we propose a correspondence-based similarity metric to automatically identify a good transition point in the video where the appearance and dynamics of the foreground are most consistent. Second, we develop a technique that aligns both the foreground and background about this transition point using a combination of global camera path planning and patch-based video morphing. We demonstrate that this allows us to create natural, compelling, loopy videos from a wide range of videos collected from the internet.

pdf link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

pdf link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Formation control driven by cooperative object tracking

Lima, P., Ahmad, A., Dias, A., Conceição, A., Moreira, A., Silva, E., Almeida, L., Oliveira, L., Nascimento, T.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 63(1):68-79, 2015 (article)

Abstract
In this paper we introduce a formation control loop that maximizes the performance of the cooperative perception of a tracked target by a team of mobile robots, while maintaining the team in formation, with a dynamically adjustable geometry which is a function of the quality of the target perception by the team. In the formation control loop, the controller module is a distributed non-linear model predictive controller and the estimator module fuses local estimates of the target state, obtained by a particle filter at each robot. The two modules and their integration are described in detail, including a real-time database associated to a wireless communication protocol that facilitates the exchange of state data while reducing collisions among team members. Simulation and real robot results for indoor and outdoor teams of different robots are presented. The results highlight how our method successfully enables a team of homogeneous robots to minimize the total uncertainty of the tracked target cooperative estimate while complying with performance criteria such as keeping a pre-set distance between the teammates and the target, avoiding collisions with teammates and/or surrounding obstacles.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Onboard robust person detection and tracking for domestic service robots

Sanz, D., Ahmad, A., Lima, P.

In Robot 2015: Second Iberian Robotics Conference, pages: 547-559, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing ; 418, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Domestic assistance for the elderly and impaired people is one of the biggest upcoming challenges of our society. Consequently, in-home care through domestic service robots is identified as one of the most important application area of robotics research. Assistive tasks may range from visitor reception at the door to catering for owner's small daily necessities within a house. Since most of these tasks require the robot to interact directly with humans, a predominant robot functionality is to detect and track humans in real time: either the owner of the robot or visitors at home or both. In this article we present a robust method for such a functionality that combines depth-based segmentation and visual detection. The robustness of our method lies in its capability to not only identify partially occluded humans (e.g., with only torso visible) but also to do so in varying lighting conditions. We thoroughly validate our method through extensive experiments on real robot datasets and comparisons with the ground truth. The datasets were collected on a home-like environment set up within the context of RoboCup@Home and RoCKIn@Home competitions.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2005


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Representing cyclic human motion using functional analysis

Ormoneit, D., Black, M. J., Hastie, T., Kjellström, H.

Image and Vision Computing, 23(14):1264-1276, December 2005 (article)

Abstract
We present a robust automatic method for modeling cyclic 3D human motion such as walking using motion-capture data. The pose of the body is represented by a time-series of joint angles which are automatically segmented into a sequence of motion cycles. The mean and the principal components of these cycles are computed using a new algorithm that enforces smooth transitions between the cycles by operating in the Fourier domain. Key to this method is its ability to automatically deal with noise and missing data. A learned walking model is then exploited for Bayesian tracking of 3D human motion.

pdf pdf from publisher DOI [BibTex]

2005

pdf pdf from publisher DOI [BibTex]


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A quantitative evaluation of video-based 3D person tracking

Balan, A. O., Sigal, L., Black, M. J.

In The Second Joint IEEE International Workshop on Visual Surveillance and Performance Evaluation of Tracking and Surveillance, VS-PETS, pages: 349-356, October 2005 (inproceedings)

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Inferring attentional state and kinematics from motor cortical firing rates

Wood, F., Prabhat, , Donoghue, J. P., Black, M. J.

In Proc. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pages: 1544-1547, September 2005 (inproceedings)

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Motor cortical decoding using an autoregressive moving average model

Fisher, J., Black, M. J.

In Proc. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pages: 1469-1472, September 2005 (inproceedings)

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Fields of Experts: A framework for learning image priors

Roth, S., Black, M. J.

In IEEE Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2, pages: 860-867, June 2005 (inproceedings)

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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On the spatial statistics of optical flow

(Marr Prize, Honorable Mention)

Roth, S., Black, M. J.

In International Conf. on Computer Vision, International Conf. on Computer Vision, pages: 42-49, 2005 (inproceedings)

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


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Modeling neural population spiking activity with Gibbs distributions

Wood, F., Roth, S., Black, M. J.

In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 18, pages: 1537-1544, 2005 (inproceedings)

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


no image
Energy-based models of motor cortical population activity

Wood, F., Black, M.

Program No. 689.20. 2005 Abstract Viewer/Itinerary Planner, Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, 2005 (conference)

abstract [BibTex]

abstract [BibTex]

1992


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Psychophysical implications of temporal persistence in early vision: A computational account of representational momentum

Tarr, M. J., Black, M. J.

Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science Supplement, Vol. 36, No. 4, 33, pages: 1050, May 1992 (conference)

abstract [BibTex]

1992

abstract [BibTex]


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Combining intensity and motion for incremental segmentation and tracking over long image sequences

Black, M. J.

In Proc. Second European Conf. on Computer Vision, ECCV-92, pages: 485-493, LNCS 588, Springer Verlag, May 1992 (inproceedings)

pdf video abstract [BibTex]

pdf video abstract [BibTex]