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  1. Abstract

    Advances in visual perceptual tasks have been mainly driven by the amount, and types, of annotations of large-scale datasets. Researchers have focused on fully-supervised settings to train models using offline epoch-based schemes. Despite the evident advancements, limitations and cost of manually annotated datasets have hindered further development for event perceptual tasks, such as detection and localization of objects and events in videos. The problem is more apparent in zoological applications due to the scarcity of annotations and length of videos-most videos are at most ten minutes long. Inspired by cognitive theories, we present a self-supervised perceptual prediction framework to tackle the problem of temporal event segmentation by building a stable representation of event-related objects. The approach is simple but effective. We rely on LSTM predictions of high-level features computed by a standard deep learning backbone. For spatial segmentation, the stable representation of the object is used by an attention mechanism to filter the input features before the prediction step. The self-learned attention maps effectively localize the object as a side effect of perceptual prediction. We demonstrate our approach on long videos from continuous wildlife video monitoring, spanning multiple days at 25 FPS. We aim to facilitate automated ethogramming by detecting and localizing events without the need for labels. Our approach is trained in an online manner on streaming input and requires only a single pass through the video, with no separate training set. Given the lack of long and realistic (includes real-world challenges) datasets, we introduce a new wildlife video dataset–nest monitoring of the Kagu (a flightless bird from New Caledonia)–to benchmark our approach. Our dataset features a video from 10 days (over 23 million frames) of continuous monitoring of the Kagu in its natural habitat. We annotate every frame with bounding boxes and event labels. Additionally, each frame is annotated with time-of-day and illumination conditions. We will make the dataset, which is the first of its kind, and the code available to the research community. We find that the approach significantly outperforms other self-supervised, traditional (e.g., Optical Flow, Background Subtraction) and NN-based (e.g., PA-DPC, DINO, iBOT), baselines and performs on par with supervised boundary detection approaches (i.e., PC). At a recall rate of 80%, our best performing model detects one false positive activity every 50 min of training. On average, we at least double the performance of self-supervised approaches for spatial segmentation. Additionally, we show that our approach is robust to various environmental conditions (e.g., moving shadows). We also benchmark the framework on other datasets (i.e., Kinetics-GEBD, TAPOS) from different domains to demonstrate its generalizability. The data and code are available on our project page:https://aix.eng.usf.edu/research_automated_ethogramming.html

     
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  2. The commonsense natural language inference (CNLI) tasks aim to select the most likely follow-up statement to a contextual description of ordinary, everyday events and facts. Current approaches to transfer learning of CNLI models across tasks require many labeled data from the new task. This paper presents a way to reduce this need for additional annotated training data from the new task by leveraging symbolic knowledge bases, such as ConceptNet. We formulate a teacher-student framework for mixed symbolic-neural reasoning, with the large-scale symbolic knowledge base serving as the teacher and a trained CNLI model as the student. This hybrid distillation process involves two steps. The first step is a symbolic reasoning process. Given a collection of unlabeled data, we use an abductive reasoning framework based on Grenander's pattern theory to create weakly labeled data. Pattern theory is an energy-based graphical probabilistic framework for reasoning among random variables with varying dependency structures. In the second step, the weakly labeled data, along with a fraction of the labeled data, is used to transfer-learn the CNLI model into the new task. The goal is to reduce the fraction of labeled data required. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach by using three publicly available datasets (OpenBookQA, SWAG, and HellaSWAG) and evaluating three CNLI models (BERT, LSTM, and ESIM) that represent different tasks. We show that, on average, we achieve 63% of the top performance of a fully supervised BERT model with no labeled data. With only 1000 labeled samples, we can improve this performance to 72%. Interestingly, without training, the teacher mechanism itself has significant inference power. The pattern theory framework achieves 32.7% accuracy on OpenBookQA, outperforming transformer-based models such as GPT (26.6%), GPT-2 (30.2%), and BERT (27.1%) by a significant margin. We demonstrate that the framework can be generalized to successfully train neural CNLI models using knowledge distillation under unsupervised and semi-supervised learning settings. Our results show that it outperforms all unsupervised and weakly supervised baselines and some early supervised approaches, while offering competitive performance with fully supervised baselines. Additionally, we show that the abductive learning framework can be adapted for other downstream tasks, such as unsupervised semantic textual similarity, unsupervised sentiment classification, and zero-shot text classification, without significant modification to the framework. Finally, user studies show that the generated interpretations enhance its explainability by providing key insights into its reasoning mechanism. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 20, 2024
  3. Avidan, S. ; Brostow, G. ; Cissé, M. ; Farinella. G.M. ; Hassner, T. (Ed.)
    Graph-based representations are becoming increasingly popular for representing and analyzing video data, especially in object tracking and scene understanding applications. Accordingly, an essential tool in this approach is to generate statistical inferences for graphical time series associated with videos. This paper develops a Kalman-smoothing method for estimating graphs from noisy, cluttered, and incomplete data. The main challenge here is to find and preserve the registration of nodes (salient detected objects) across time frames when the data has noise and clutter due to false and missing nodes. First, we introduce a quotient-space representation of graphs that incorporates temporal registration of nodes, and we use that metric structure to impose a dynamical model on graph evolution. Then, we derive a Kalman smoother, adapted to the quotient space geometry, to estimate dense, smooth trajectories of graphs. We demonstrate this framework using simulated data and actual video graphs extracted from the Multiview Extended Video with Activities (MEVA) dataset. This framework successfully estimates graphs despite the noise, clutter, and missed detections. 
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  4. Avidan, S. ; Brostow, G. ; Cissé, M ; Farinella, G.M. ; Hassner, T. (Ed.)
    Event perception tasks such as recognizing and localizing actions in streaming videos are essential for scaling to real-world application contexts. We tackle the problem of learning actor-centered representations through the notion of continual hierarchical predictive learning to localize actions in streaming videos without the need for training labels and outlines for the objects in the video. We propose a framework driven by the notion of hierarchical predictive learning to construct actor-centered features by attention-based contextualization. The key idea is that predictable features or objects do not attract attention and hence do not contribute to the action of interest. Experiments on three benchmark datasets show that the approach can learn robust representations for localizing actions using only one epoch of training, i.e., a single pass through the streaming video. We show that the proposed approach outperforms unsupervised and weakly supervised baselines while offering competitive performance to fully supervised approaches. Additionally, we extend the model to multi-actor settings to recognize group activities while localizing the multiple, plausible actors. We also show that it generalizes to out-of-domain data with limited performance degradation. 
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  5. Raman, B. ; Murala, S. ; Chowdhury, A. ; Dhall, A. ; Goyal, P. (Ed.)
    Using offline training schemes, researchers have tackled the event segmentation problem by providing full or weak-supervision through manually annotated labels or self-supervised epoch-based training. Most works consider videos that are at most 10’s of minutes long. We present a self-supervised perceptual prediction framework capable of temporal event segmentation by building stable representations of objects over time and demonstrate it on long videos, spanning several days at 25 FPS. The approach is deceptively simple but quite effective. We rely on predictions of high-level features computed by a standard deep learning backbone. For prediction, we use an LSTM, augmented with an attention mechanism, trained in a self-supervised manner using the prediction error. The self-learned attention maps effectively localize and track the event-related objects in each frame. The proposed approach does not require labels. It requires only a single pass through the video, with no separate training set. Given the lack of datasets of very long videos, we demonstrate our method on video from 10 d (254 h) of continuous wildlife monitoring data that we had collected with required permissions. We find that the approach is robust to various environmental conditions such as day/night conditions, rain, sharp shadows, and windy conditions. For the task of temporally locating events at the activity level, we had an 80% activity recall rate for one false activity detection every 50 min. We will make the dataset, which is the first of its kind, and the code available to the research community. Project page is available at https://ramymounir.com/publications/EventSegmentation/. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
  7. null (Ed.)
    Complex analyses involving multiple, dependent random quantities often lead to graphical models—a set of nodes denoting variables of interest, and corresponding edges denoting statistical interactions between nodes. To develop statistical analyses for graphical data, especially towards generative modeling, one needs mathematical representations and metrics for matching and comparing graphs, and subsequent tools, such as geodesics, means, and covariances. This paper utilizes a quotient structure to develop efficient algorithms for computing these quantities, leading to useful statistical tools, including principal component analysis, statistical testing, and modeling. We demonstrate the efficacy of this framework using datasets taken from several problem areas, including letters, biochemical structures, and social networks. 
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  8. Vedaldi, A. ; Bischof, H. ; Brox, T. ; Frahm, JM. (Ed.)
    The problem of action localization involves locating the action in the video, both over time and spatially in the image. The current dominant approaches use supervised learning to solve this problem. They require large amounts of annotated training data, in the form of frame-level bounding box annotations around the region of interest. In this paper, we present a new approach based on continual learning that uses feature-level predictions for self-supervision. It does not require any training annotations in terms of frame-level bounding boxes. The approach is inspired by cognitive models of visual event perception that propose a prediction-based approach to event understanding. We use a stack of LSTMs coupled with a CNN encoder, along with novel attention mechanisms, to model the events in the video and use this model to predict high-level features for the future frames. The prediction errors are used to learn the parameters of the models continuously. This self-supervised framework is not complicated as other approaches but is very effective in learning robust visual representations for both labeling and localization. It should be noted that the approach outputs in a streaming fashion, requiring only a single pass through the video, making it amenable for real-time processing. We demonstrate this on three datasets - UCF Sports, JHMDB, and THUMOS’13 and show that the proposed approach outperforms weakly-supervised and unsupervised baselines and obtains competitive performance compared to fully supervised baselines. Finally, we show that the proposed framework can generalize to egocentric videos and achieve state-of-the-art results on the unsupervised gaze prediction task. 
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