skip to main content


Title: Visualizing Point Cloud Classifiers by Curvature Smoothing
Recently, several networks that operate directly on point clouds have been proposed. There is significant utility in understanding their mechanisms to classify point clouds, which can potentially help diagnosing these networks and designing better architectures. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to visualize features important to the point cloud classifiers. Our approach is based on smoothing curved areas on a point cloud. After prominent features were smoothed, the resulting point cloud can be evaluated on the network to assess whether the feature is important to the classifier. A technical contribution of the paper is an approximated curvature smoothing algorithm, which can smoothly transition from the original point cloud to one of constant curvature, such as a uniform sphere. Based on the smoothing algorithm, we propose PCI-GOS (Point Cloud Integrated-Gradients Optimized Saliency), a visualization technique that can automatically find the minimal saliency map that covers the most important features on a shape. Experiment results revealed insights into different point cloud classifiers. The code is available at https://github.com/arthurhero/PC-IGOS  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1751402
NSF-PAR ID:
10232246
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The 31st British Machine Vision Virtual Conference
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Keypoint detection serves as the basis for many computer vision and robotics applications. Despite the fact that colored point clouds can be readily obtained, most existing keypoint detectors extract only geometry-salient keypoints, which can impede the overall performance of systems that intend to (or have the potential to) leverage color information. To promote advances in such systems, we propose an efficient multi-modal keypoint detector that can extract both geometry-salient and color-salient keypoints in colored point clouds. The proposed CEntroid Distance (CED) keypoint detector comprises an intuitive and effective saliency measure, the centroid distance, that can be used in both 3D space and color space, and a multi-modal non-maximum suppression algorithm that can select keypoints with high saliency in two or more modalities. The proposed saliency measure leverages directly the distribution of points in a local neighborhood and does not require normal estimation or eigenvalue decomposition. We evaluate the proposed method in terms of repeatability and computational efficiency (i.e. running time) against state-of-the-art keypoint detectors on both synthetic and real-world datasets. Results demonstrate that our proposed CED keypoint detector requires minimal computational time while attaining high repeatability. To showcase one of the potential applications of the proposed method, we further investigate the task of colored point cloud registration. Results suggest that our proposed CED detector outperforms state-of-the-art handcrafted and learning-based keypoint detectors in the evaluated scenes. The C++ implementation of the proposed method is made publicly available at https://github.com/UCR-Robotics/CED_Detector. 
    more » « less
  2. Decision-based black-box attacks often necessitate a large number of queries to craft an adversarial example. Moreover, decision-based attacks based on querying boundary points in the estimated normal vector direction often suffer from inefficiency and convergence issues. In this paper, we propose a novel query-efficient \b curvature-aware \b geometric decision-based \b black-box \b attack (CGBA) that conducts boundary search along a semicircular path on a restricted 2D plane to ensure finding a boundary point successfully irrespective of the boundary curvature. While the proposed CGBA attack can work effectively for an arbitrary decision boundary, it is particularly efficient in exploiting the low curvature to craft high-quality adversarial examples, which is widely seen and experimentally verified in commonly used classifiers under non-targeted attacks. In contrast, the decision boundaries often exhibit higher curvature under targeted attacks. Thus, we develop a new query-efficient variant, CGBA-H, that is adapted for the targeted attack. In addition, we further design an algorithm to obtain a better initial boundary point at the expense of some extra queries, which considerably enhances the performance of the targeted attack. Extensive experiments are conducted to evaluate the performance of our proposed methods against some well-known classifiers on the ImageNet and CIFAR10 datasets, demonstrating the superiority of CGBA and CGBA-H over state-of-the-art non-targeted and targeted attacks, respectively. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    Saliency methods are used extensively to highlight the importance of input features in model predictions. These methods are mostly used in vision and language tasks, and their applications to time series data is relatively unexplored. In this paper, we set out to extensively compare the performance of various saliency-based interpretability methods across diverse neural architectures, including Recurrent Neural Network, Temporal Convolutional Networks, and Transformers in a new benchmark of synthetic time series data. We propose and report multiple metrics to empirically evaluate the performance of saliency methods for detecting feature importance over time using both precision (i.e., whether identified features contain meaningful signals) and recall (i.e., the number of features with signal identified as important). Through several experiments, we show that (i) in general, network architectures and saliency methods fail to reliably and accurately identify feature importance over time in time series data, (ii) this failure is mainly due to the conflation of time and feature domains, and (iii) the quality of saliency maps can be improved substantially by using our proposed two-step temporal saliency rescaling (TSR) approach that first calculates the importance of each time step before calculating the importance of each feature at a time step. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Saliency methods are used extensively to highlight the importance of input features in model predictions. These methods are mostly used in vision and language tasks, and their applications to time series data is relatively unexplored. In this paper, we set out to extensively compare the performance of various saliency-based interpretability methods across diverse neural architectures, including Recurrent Neural Network, Temporal Convolutional Networks, and Transformers in a new benchmark † of synthetic time series data. We propose and report multiple metrics to empirically evaluate the performance of saliency methods for detecting feature importance over time using both precision (i.e., whether identified features contain meaningful signals) and recall (i.e., the number of features with signal identified as important). Through several experiments, we show that (i) in general, network architectures and saliency methods fail to reliably and accurately identify feature importance over time in time series data, (ii) this failure is mainly due to the conflation of time and feature domains, and (iii) the quality of saliency maps can be improved substantially by using our proposed two-step temporal saliency rescaling (TSR) approach that first calculates the importance of each time step before calculating the importance of each feature at a time step. 
    more » « less
  5. We propose a generative model of unordered point sets, such as point clouds, in the form of an energy-based model, where the energy function is parameterized by an input permutation- invariant bottom-up neural network. The energy function learns a coordinate encoding of each point and then aggregates all individual point features into an energy for the whole point cloud. We call our model the Generative PointNet because it can be derived from the discriminative PointNet. Our model can be trained by MCMC based maximum likelihood learning (as well as its variants), without the help of any assisting networks like those in GANs and VAEs. Unlike most point cloud generators that rely on hand-crafted distance metrics, our model does not require any hand-crafted distance metric for the point cloud generation, because it synthesizes point clouds by matching observed examples in terms of statistical properties defined by the energy function. Furthermore, we can learn a short run MCMC toward the energy-based model as a flow-like generator for point cloud reconstruction and interpolation. The learned point cloud representation can be useful for point cloud classification. Experiments demonstrate the advantages of the proposed generative model of point clouds. 
    more » « less