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  1. In this paper, we present an end-to-end instance segmentation method that regresses a polygonal boundary for each object instance. This sparse, vectorized boundary representation for objects, while attractive in many downstream computer vision tasks, quickly runs into issues of parity that need to be addressed: parity in supervision and parity in performance when compared to existing pixel-based methods. This is due in part to object instances being annotated with ground-truth in the form of polygonal boundaries or segmentation masks, yet being evaluated in a convenient manner using only segmentation masks. Our method, BoundaryFormer, is a Transformer based architecture that directly predicts polygons yet uses instance mask segmentations as the ground-truth supervision for computing the loss. We achieve this by developing an end-to-end differentiable model that solely relies on supervision within the mask space through differentiable rasterization. BoundaryFormer matches or surpasses the Mask R-CNN method in terms of instance segmentation quality on both COCO and Cityscapes while exhibiting significantly better transferability across datasets. 
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  2. Panoptic segmentation requires segments of both “things” (countable object instances) and “stuff” (uncountable and amorphous regions) within a single output. A common approach involves the fusion of instance segmentation (for “things”) and semantic segmentation (for “stuff”) into a non-overlapping placement of segments, and resolves overlaps. However, instance ordering with detection confidence do not correlate well with natural occlusion relationship. To resolve this issue, we propose a branch that is tasked with modeling how two instance masks should overlap one another as a binary relation. Our method, named OCFusion, is lightweight but particularly effective in the instance fusion process. OCFusion is trained with the ground truth relation derived automatically from the existing dataset annotations. We obtain state-of-the-art results on COCO and show competitive results on the Cityscapes panoptic segmentation benchmark. 
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  3. Emerging edge devices such as sensor nodes are increasingly being tasked with non-trivial tasks related to sensor data processing and even application-level inferences from this sensor data. These devices are, however, extraordinarily resource-constrained in terms of CPU power (often Cortex M0-3 class CPUs), available memory (in few KB to MBytes), and energy. Under these constraints, we explore a novel approach to character recognition using local binary pattern networks, or LBPNet, that can learn and perform bit-wise operations in an end-to-end fashion. LBPNet has its advantage for characters whose features are composed of structured strokes and distinctive outlines. LBPNet uses local binary comparisons and random projections in place of conventional convolution (or approximation of convolution) operations, providing an important means to improve memory efficiency as well as inference speed. We evaluate LBPNet on a number of character recognition benchmark datasets as well as several object classification datasets and demonstrate its effectiveness and efficiency. 
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