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  1. Object proposal generation serves as a standard pre-processing step in Vision-Language (VL) tasks (image captioning, visual question answering, etc.). The performance of object proposals generated for VL tasks is currently evaluated across all available annotations, a protocol that we show is misaligned - higher scores do not necessarily correspond to improved performance on downstream VL tasks. Our work serves as a study of this phenomenon and explores the effectiveness of semantic grounding to mitigate its effects. To this end, we propose evaluating object proposals against only a subset of available annotations, selected by thresholding an annotation importance score. Importance of object annotations to VL tasks is quantified by extracting relevant semantic information from text describing the image. We show that our method is consistent and demonstrates greatly improved alignment with annotations selected by image captioning metrics and human annotation when compared against existing techniques. Lastly, we compare current detectors used in the Scene Graph Generation (SGG) benchmark as a use case, which serves as an example of when traditional object proposal evaluation techniques are misaligned. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 4, 2025
  2. Temporal Logic (TL) bridges the gap between natural language and formal reasoning in the field of complex systems verification. However, in order to leverage the expressivity entailed by TL, the syntax and semantics must first be understood—a large task in itself. This significant knowledge gap leads to several issues: (1) the likelihood of adopting a TL-based verification method is decreased, and (2) the chance of poorly written and inaccurate requirements is increased. In this ongoing work, we present the Pythonic Formal Requirements Language (PyFoReL) tool: a Domain-Specific Language inspired by the programming language Python to simplify the elicitation of TL-based requirements for engineers and non-experts. 
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  3. Covariate shift is a major roadblock in the reliability of image classifiers in the real world. Work on covariate shift has been focused on training classifiers to adapt or generalize to unseen domains. However, for transparent decision making, it is equally desirable to develop covariate shift detection methods that can indicate whether or not a test image belongs to an unseen domain. In this paper, we introduce a benchmark for covariate shift detection (CSD), that builds upon and complements previous work on domain generalization. We use state-of-the-art OOD detection methods as baselines and find them to be worse than simple confidence-based methods on our CSD benchmark. We propose an interpolation-based technique, Domain Interpolation Sensitivity (DIS), based on the simple hypothesis that interpolation between the test input and randomly sampled inputs from the training domain, offers sufficient information to distinguish between the training domain and unseen domains under covariate shift. DIS surpasses all OOD detection baselines for CSD on multiple domain generalization benchmarks. 
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  4. Recent studies demonstrated the vulnerability of control policies learned through deep reinforcement learning against adversarial attacks, raising concerns about the application of such models to risk-sensitive tasks such as autonomous driving. Threat models for these demonstrations are limited to (1) targeted attacks through real-time manipulation of the agent's observation, and (2) untargeted attacks through manipulation of the physical environment. The former assumes full access to the agent's states/observations at all times, while the latter has no control over attack outcomes. This paper investigates the feasibility of targeted attacks through visually learned patterns placed on physical objects in the environment, a threat model that combines the practicality and effectiveness of the existing ones. Through analysis, we demonstrate that a pre-trained policy can be hijacked within a time window, e.g., performing an unintended self-parking, when an adversarial object is present. To enable the attack, we adopt an assumption that the dynamics of both the environment and the agent can be learned by the attacker. Lastly, we empirically show the effectiveness of the proposed attack on different driving scenarios, perform a location robustness test, and study the tradeoff between the attack strength and its effectiveness Code is available at https://github.com/ASU-APG/ Targeted-Physical-Adversarial-Attacks-on-AD 
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  5. null ; null (Ed.)
    Perception algorithms in autonomous vehicles are vital for the vehicle to understand the semantics of its surroundings, including detection and tracking of objects in the environment. The outputs of these algorithms are in turn used for decision-making in safety-critical scenarios like collision avoidance, and automated emergency braking. Thus, it is crucial to monitor such perception systems at runtime. However, due to the high-level, complex representations of the outputs of perception systems, it is a challenge to test and verify these systems, especially at runtime. In this paper, we present a runtime monitoring tool, PerceMon that can monitor arbitrary specifications in Timed Quality Temporal Logic (TQTL) and its extensions with spatial operators. We integrate the tool with the CARLA autonomous vehicle simulation environment and the ROS middleware platform while monitoring properties on state-of-the-art object detection and tracking algorithms. 
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