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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 5, 2024
  2. null (Ed.)
    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 
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  3. Heatmap regression with a deep network has become one of the mainstream approaches to localize facial landmarks. However, the loss function for heatmap regression is rarely studied. In this paper, we analyze the ideal loss function properties for heatmap regression in face alignment problems. Then we propose a novel loss function, named Adaptive Wing loss, that is able to adapt its shape to different types of ground truth heatmap pixels. This adaptability penalizes loss more on foreground pixels while less on background pixels. To address the imbalance between foreground and background pixels, we also propose Weighted Loss Map, which assigns high weights on foreground and difficult background pixels to help training process focus more on pixels that are crucial to landmark localization. To further improve face alignment accuracy, we introduce boundary prediction and CoordConv with boundary coordinates. Extensive experiments on different benchmarks, including COFW, 300W and WFLW, show our approach outperforms the state-of-the-art by a significant margin on various evaluation metrics. Besides, the Adaptive Wing loss also helps other heatmap regression tasks. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    We propose a novel end-to-end deep scene flow model, called PointPWC-Net, that directly processes 3D point cloud scenes with large motions in a coarse-to-fine fashion. Flow computed at the coarse level is upsampled and warped to a finer level, enabling the algorithm to accommodate for large motion without a prohibitive search space. We introduce novel cost volume, upsampling, and warping layers to efficiently handle 3D point cloud data. Unlike traditional cost volumes that require exhaustively computing all the cost values on a high-dimensional grid, our point-based formulation discretizes the cost volume onto input 3D points, and a PointConv operation efficiently computes convolutions on the cost volume. Experiment results on FlyingThings3D and KITTI outperform the state-of-the-art by a large margin. We further explore novel self-supervised losses to train our model and achieve comparable results to state-of-the-art trained with supervised loss. Without any fine-tuning, our method also shows great generalization ability on the KITTI Scene Flow 2015 dataset, outperforming all previous methods. The code is released at 
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  5. Unlike images which are represented in regular dense grids, 3D point clouds are irregular and unordered, hence applying convolution on them can be difficult. In this paper, we extend the dynamic filter to a new convolution operation, named PointConv. PointConv can be applied on point clouds to build deep convolutional networks. We treat convolution kernels as nonlinear functions of the local coordinates of 3D points comprised of weight and density functions. With respect to a given point, the weight functions are learned with multi-layer perceptron networks and the density functions through kernel density estimation. A novel reformulation is proposed for efficiently computing the weight functions, which allowed us to dramatically scale up the network and significantly improve its performance. The learned convolution kernel can be used to compute translation-invariant and permutation-invariant convolution on any point set in the 3D space. Besides, PointConv can also be used as deconvolution operators to propagate features from a subsampled point cloud back to its original resolution. Experiments on ModelNet40, ShapeNet, and ScanNet show that deep convolutional neural networks built on PointConv are able to achieve state-of-the-art on challenging semantic segmentation benchmarks on 3D point clouds. Besides, our experiments converting CIFAR-10 into a point cloud showed that networks built on PointConv can match the performance of convolutional networks in 2D images of a similar structure. 
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  6. Abstract

    This paper summarizes our endeavors in the past few years in terms of explaining image classifiers, with the aim of including negative results and insights we have gained. The paper starts with describing the explainable neural network (XNN), which attempts to extract and visualize several high‐level concepts purely from the deep network, without relying on human linguistic concepts. This helps users understand network classifications that are less intuitive and substantially improves user performance on a difficult fine‐grained classification task of discriminating among different species of seagulls. Realizing that an important missing piece is a reliable heatmap visualization tool, we have developed integrated‐gradient optimized saliency (I‐GOS) and iGOS++ utilizing integrated gradients to avoid local optima in heatmap generation, which improved the performance across all resolutions. During the development of those visualizations, we realized that for a significant number of images, the classifier has multiple different paths to reach a confident prediction. This has led to our recent development of structured attention graphs, an approach that utilizes beam search to locate multiple coarse heatmaps for a single image, and compactly visualizes a set of heatmaps by capturing how different combinations of image regions impact the confidence of a classifier. Through the research process, we have learned much about insights in building deep network explanations, the existence and frequency of multiple explanations, and various tricks of the trade that make explanations work. In this paper, we attempt to share those insights and opinions with the readers with the hope that some of them will be informative for future researchers on explainable deep learning.

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