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  1. Objective: This study examined factors that were associated with the effectiveness of pre-existing household emergency plans during the 2011 EF5 Joplin and EF4 Tuscaloosa tornadoes. We focused on whether discussing with family members helped increase the plan’s effectiveness. Methods: A telephone survey based on random sampling was conducted in 2012 with 1006 respondents in both cities. Each city experienced huge losses, injuries, and casualties. The working sample included 494 respondents who had a household emergency plan in place before these tornadoes. Results: Multinomial logistic regression showed that discussing with family members increased the helpfulness of the plan in Joplin, where people had not experienced tornadoes frequently and were less prepared for tornadoes relative to residents in Tuscaloosa. Conclusions: This study provides empirical evidence on the importance of encouraging family involvement when making household emergency plans, especially in places that are less prepared for disasters than those that are better prepared. Key Words: disaster preparedness, household emergency plan, tornado, vulnerability
  2. An unsupervised image-to-image translation (UI2I) task deals with learning a mapping between two domains without paired images. While existing UI2I methods usually require numerous unpaired images from different domains for training, there are many scenarios where training data is quite limited. In this paper, we argue that even if each domain contains a single image, UI2I can still be achieved. To this end, we propose TuiGAN, a generative model that is trained on only two unpaired images and amounts to one-shot unsupervised learning. With TuiGAN, an image is translated in a coarse-to-fine manner where the generated image is gradually refined from global structures to local details. We conduct extensive experiments to verify that our versatile method can outperform strong baselines on a wide variety of UI2I tasks. Moreover, TuiGAN is capable of achieving comparable performance with the state-of-the-art UI2I models trained with sufficient data.
  3. Example-guided image synthesis has been recently attempted to synthesize an image from a semantic label map and an exemplary image. In the task, the additional exemplary image serves to provide style guidance that controls the appearance of the synthesized output. Despite the controllability advantage, the previous models are designed on datasets with specific and roughly aligned objects. In this paper, we tackle a more challenging and general task, where the exemplar is an arbitrary scene image that is semantically unaligned to the given label map. To this end, we first propose a new Masked Spatial-Channel Attention (MSCA) module which models the correspondence between two unstructured scenes via cross-attention. Next, we propose an end-to-end network for joint global and local feature alignment and synthesis. In addition, we propose a novel patch-based self-supervision scheme to enable training. Experiments on the large-scale CCOO-stuff dataset show significant improvements over existing methods. Moreover, our approach provides interpretability and can be readily extended to other tasks including style and spatial interpolation or extrapolation, as well as other content manipulation.
  4. Existing image-to-image transformation approaches primarily focus on synthesizing visually pleasing data. Generating images with correct identity labels is challenging yet much less explored. It is even more challenging to deal with image transformation tasks with large deformation in poses, viewpoints, or scales while preserving the identity, such as face rotation and object viewpoint morphing. In this paper, we aim at transforming an image with a fine-grained category to synthesize new images that preserve the identity of the input image, which can thereby benefit the subsequent fine-grained image recognition and few-shot learning tasks. The generated images, transformed with large geometric deformation, do not necessarily need to be of high visual quality but are required to maintain as much identity information as possible. To this end, we adopt a model based on generative adversarial networks to disentangle the identity related and unrelated factors of an image. In order to preserve the fine-grained contextual details of the input image during the deformable transformation, a constrained nonalignment connection method is proposed to construct learnable highways between intermediate convolution blocks in the generator. Moreover, an adaptive identity modulation mechanism is proposed to transfer the identity information into the output image effectively. Extensive experiments on themore »CompCars and Multi-PIE datasets demonstrate that our model preserves the identity of the generated images much better than the state-of-the-art image-to-image transformation models, and as a result significantly boosts the visual recognition performance in fine-grained few-shot learning.« less
  5. Exploiting relationships between objects for image and video captioning has received increasing attention. Most existing methods depend heavily on pre-trained detectors of objects and their relationships, and thus may not work well when facing detection challenges such as heavy occlusion, tiny-size objects, and long-tail classes. In this paper, we propose a joint commonsense and relation reasoning method that exploits prior knowledge for image and video captioning without relying on any detectors. The prior knowledge provides semantic correlations and constraints between objects, serving as guidance to build semantic graphs that summarize object relationships, some of which cannot be directly perceived from images or videos. Particularly, our method is implemented by an iterative learning algorithm that alternates between 1) commonsense reasoning for embedding visual regions into the semantic space to build a semantic graph and 2) relation reasoning for encoding semantic graphs to generate sentences. Experiments on several benchmark datasets validate the effectiveness of our prior knowledge-based approach.
  6. The key challenge in photorealistic style transfer is that an algorithm should faithfully transfer the style of a reference photo to a content photo while the generated image should look like one captured by a camera. Although several photorealistic style transfer algorithms have been proposed, they need to rely on post- and/or pre-processing to make the generated images look photorealistic. If we disable the additional processing, these algorithms would fail to produce plausible photorealistic stylization in terms of detail preservation and photorealism. In this work, we propose an effective solution to these issues. Our method consists of a construction step (C-step) to build a photorealistic stylization network and a pruning step (P-step) for acceleration. In the C-step, we propose a dense auto-encoder named PhotoNet based on a carefully designed pre-analysis. PhotoNet integrates a feature aggregation module (BFA) and instance normalized skip links (INSL). To generate faithful stylization, we introduce multiple style transfer modules in the decoder and INSLs. PhotoNet significantly outperforms existing algorithms in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness. In the P-step, we adopt a neural architecture search method to accelerate PhotoNet. We propose an automatic network pruning framework in the manner of teacher-student learning for photorealistic stylization. Themore »network architecture named PhotoNAS resulted from the search achieves significant acceleration over PhotoNet while keeping the stylization effects almost intact. We conduct extensive experiments on both image and video transfer. The results show that our method can produce favorable results while achieving 20-30 times acceleration in comparison with the existing state-of-the-art approaches. It is worth noting that the proposed algorithm accomplishes better performance without any pre- or post-processing.« less
  7. We address the problem of retrieving a specific moment from an untrimmed video by a query sentence. This is a challenging problem because a target moment may take place in relations to other temporal moments in the untrimmed video. Existing methods cannot tackle this challenge well since they consider temporal moments individually and neglect the temporal dependencies. In this paper, we model the temporal relations between video moments by a two-dimensional map, where one dimension indicates the starting time of a moment and the other indicates the end time. This 2D temporal map can cover diverse video moments with different lengths, while representing their adjacent relations. Based on the 2D map, we propose a Temporal Adjacent Network (2D-TAN), a single-shot framework for moment localization. It is capable of encoding the adjacent temporal relation, while learning discriminative features for matching video moments with referring expressions. We evaluate the proposed 2D-TAN on three challenging benchmarks, i.e., Charades-STA, ActivityNet Captions, and TACoS, where our 2D-TAN outperforms the state-of-the-art.
  8. With the rapid development of social media, visual sentiment analysis from image or video has become a hot spot in visual understanding researches. In this work, we propose an effective approach using visual and textual fusion for sentiment analysis of short GIF videos with textual descriptions. We extract both sequence-level and frame-level visual features for each given GIF video. Next, we build a visual sentiment classifier by using the extracted features. We also define a mapping function, which converts the sentiment probability from the classifier to a sentiment score used in our fusion function. At the same time, for the accompanying textual annotations, we employ the Synset forest to extract the sets of the meaningful sentiment words and utilize the SentiWordNet3.0 model to obtain the textual sentiment score. Then, we design a joint visual-textual sentiment score function weighted with visual sentiment component and textual sentiment one. To make the function more robust, we introduce a noticeable difference threshold to further process the fused sentiment score. Finally, we adopt a grid search technique to obtain relevant model hyper-parameters by optimizing a sentiment aware score function. Experimental results and analysis extensively demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed sentiment recognition scheme on threemore »benchmark datasets including the TGIF dataset, GSO-2016 dataset, and Adjusted-GIFGIF dataset.« less