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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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  5. We propose an algorithm, guided variational autoencoder (Guided-VAE), that is able to learn a controllable generative model by performing latent representation disentanglement learning. The learning objective is achieved by providing signals to the latent encoding/embedding in VAE without changing its main backbone architecture, hence retaining the desirable properties of the VAE. We design an unsupervised strategy and a supervised strategy in Guided-VAE and observe enhanced modeling and controlling capability over the vanilla VAE. In the unsupervised strategy, we guide the VAE learning by introducing a lightweight decoder that learns latent geometric transformation and principal components; in the supervised strategy, we use an adversarial excitation and inhibition mechanism to encourage the disentanglement of the latent variables. Guided-VAE enjoys its transparency and simplicity for the general representation learning task, as well as disentanglement learning. On a number of experiments for representation learning, improved synthesis/sampling, better disentanglement for classification, and reduced classification errors in meta learning have been observed. 
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  6. 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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  7. In this paper, we tackle an important task in computer vision: any view object recognition. In both training and testing, for each object instance, we are only given its 2D image viewed from an unknown angle. We propose a computational framework by designing object and viewer-centered neural networks (OVCNet) to recognize an object instance viewed from an arbitrary unknown angle. OVCNet consists of three branches that respectively implement object-centered, 3D viewer-centered, and in-plane viewer-centered recognition. We evaluate our proposed OVCNet using two metrics with unseen views from both seen and novel object instances. Experimental results demonstrate the advantages of OVCNet over classic 2D-image-based CNN classi fiers, 3D-object (inferred from 2D image) classifiers, and competing multi-view based approaches. It gives rise to a viable and practical computing framework that combines both viewpoint-dependent and viewpoint-independent features for object recognition from any view. 
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