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  1. We present a passive non-line-of-sight method that infers the number of people or activity of a person from the observation of a blank wall in an unknown room. Our technique analyzes complex imperceptible changes in indirect illumination in a video of the wall to reveal a signal that is correlated with motion in the hidden part of a scene. We use this signal to classify between zero, one, or two moving people, or the activity of a person in the hidden scene. We train two convolutional neural networks using data collected from 20 different scenes, and achieve an accuracy of 94% for both tasks in unseen test environments and real-time online settings. Unlike other passive non-line-of-sight methods, the technique does not rely on known occluders or controllable light sources, and generalizes to unknown rooms with no recalibration. We analyze the generalization and robustness of our method with both real and synthetic data, and study the effect of the scene parameters on the signal quality.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 11, 2022
  2. We consider learning a sparse pairwise Markov Random Field (MRF) with continuous valued variables from i.i.d samples. We adapt the algorithm of Vuffray et al. (2019) to this setting and provide finite- sample analysis revealing sample complexity scaling logarithmically with the number of variables, as in the discrete and Gaussian settings. Our approach is applicable to a large class of pairwise MRFs with continuous variables and also has desirable asymptotic properties, including consistency and normality under mild conditions. Further, we establish that the population version of the optimization criterion employed by Vuffray et al. (2019) can be interpreted as local maximum likelihood estimation (MLE). As part of our analysis, we introduce a robust variation of sparse linear regression à la Lasso, which may be of interest in its own right.
  3. A modal decomposition is a useful tool that deconstructs the statistical dependence between two random variables by decomposing their joint distribution into orthogonal modes. Historically, modal decompositions have played important roles in statistics and information theory, e.g., in the study of maximal correlation. They are defined using the singular value decompo- sitions of divergence transition matrices (DTMs) and conditional expectation operators corresponding to joint distributions. In this paper, we first characterize the set of all DTMs, and illustrate how the associated conditional expectation operators are the only weak contractions among a class of natural candidates. While modal decompositions have several modern machine learning applications, such as feature extraction from categorical data, the sample complexity of estimating them in such scenarios has not been analyzed. Hence, we also establish some non-asymptotic sample complexity results for the problem of estimating dominant modes of an unknown joint distribution from training data.
  4. The advent of deep learning algorithms for mobile devices and sensors has led to a dramatic expansion in the availability and number of systems trained on a wide range of machine learning tasks, creating a host of opportunities and challenges in the realm of transfer learning. Currently, most transfer learning methods require some kind of control over the systems learned, either by enforcing constraints dur- ing the source training, or through the use of a joint optimization objective between tasks that requires all data be co-located for training. However, for practical, pri- vacy, or other reasons, in a variety of applications we may have no control over the individual source task training, nor access to source training samples. Instead we only have access to features pre-trained on such data as the output of “black-boxes.” For such scenarios, we consider the multi-source learning problem of training a classifier using an ensemble of pre-trained neural networks for a set of classes that have not been observed by any of the source networks, and for which we have very few training samples. We show that by using these distributed networks as feature extractors, we can train an effective classifier in a computationally-efficient mannermore »using tools from (nonlinear) maximal correlation analysis. In particular, we develop a method we refer to as maximal correlation weighting (MCW) to build the required target classifier from an appropriate weighting of the feature functions from the source networks. We illustrate the effectiveness of the resulting classi- fier on datasets derived from the CIFAR-100, Stanford Dogs, and Tiny ImageNet datasets, and, in addition, use the methodology to characterize the relative value of different source tasks in learning a target task.« less
  5. We recover a video of the motion taking place in a hidden scene by observing changes in indirect illumination in a nearby uncalibrated visible region. We solve this problem by factoring the observed video into a matrix product between the unknown hidden scene video and an unknown light transport matrix. This task is extremely ill-posed as any non-negative factorization will satisfy the data. Inspired by recent work on the Deep Image Prior, we parameterize the factor matrices using randomly initialized convolutional neural networks trained in a one-off manner, and show that this results in decompositions that reflect the true motion in the hidden scene.