In surgical procedures, correct instrument counting is essential. Instance segmentation is a location method that locates not only an object's bounding box but also each pixel's specific details. However, obtaining mask-level annotations is labor-intensive in instance segmentation. To address this issue, we propose a novel yet effective weakly-supervised surgical instrument instance segmentation approach, named Point-based Weakly-supervised Instance Segmentation (PWISeg). PWISeg adopts an FCN-based architecture with point-to-box and point-to-mask branches to model the relationships between feature points and bounding boxes, as well as feature points and segmentation masks on FPN, accomplishing instrument detection and segmentation jointly in a single model. Since mask level annotations are hard to available in the real world, for point-to-mask training, we introduce an unsupervised projection loss, utilizing the projected relation between predicted masks and bboxes as supervision signal. On the other hand, we annotate a few pixels as the key pixel for each instrument. Based on this, we further propose a key pixel association loss and a key pixel distribution loss, driving the point-to-mask branch to generate more accurate segmentation predictions. To comprehensively evaluate this task, we unveil a novel surgical instrument dataset with manual annotations, setting up a benchmark for further research. Our comprehensive research trial validated the superior performance of our PWISeg. The results show that the accuracy of surgical instrument segmentation is improved, surpassing most methods of instance segmentation via weakly supervised bounding boxes. This improvement is consistently observed in our proposed dataset and when applied to the public HOSPI-Tools dataset.
* This work has been submitted to IEEE International Symposium on
Biomedical Imaging (ISBI) 2024 for possible publication
PyPose is an open-source library for robot learning. It combines a learning-based approach with physics-based optimization, which enables seamless end-to-end robot learning. It has been used in many tasks due to its meticulously designed application programming interface (API) and efficient implementation. From its initial launch in early 2022, PyPose has experienced significant enhancements, incorporating a wide variety of new features into its platform. To satisfy the growing demand for understanding and utilizing the library and reduce the learning curve of new users, we present the fundamental design principle of the imperative programming interface, and showcase the flexible usage of diverse functionalities and modules using an extremely simple Dubins car example. We also demonstrate that the PyPose can be easily used to navigate a real quadruped robot with a few lines of code.
When doing private domain marketing with cloud services, the merchants usually have to purchase different machine learning models for the multiple marketing purposes, leading to a very high cost. We present a unified user-item matching framework to simultaneously conduct item recommendation and user targeting with just one model. We empirically demonstrate that the above concurrent modeling is viable via modeling the user-item interaction matrix with the multinomial distribution, and propose a bidirectional bias-corrected NCE loss for the implementation. The proposed loss function guides the model to learn the user-item joint probability $p(u,i)$ instead of the conditional probability $p(i|u)$ or $p(u|i)$ through correcting both the users and items' biases caused by the in-batch negative sampling. In addition, our framework is model-agnostic enabling a flexible adaptation of different model architectures. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our framework results in significant performance gains in comparison with the state-of-the-art methods, with greatly reduced cost on computing resources and daily maintenance.
Deep models have demonstrated recent success in single-image dehazing. Most prior methods consider fully supervised training and learn from paired clean and hazy images, where a hazy image is synthesized based on a clean image and its estimated depth map. This paradigm, however, can produce low-quality hazy images due to inaccurate depth estimation, resulting in poor generalization of the trained models. In this paper, we explore an alternative approach for generating paired clean-hazy images by leveraging computer graphics. Using a modern game engine, our approach renders crisp clean images and their precise depth maps, based on which high-quality hazy images can be synthesized for training dehazing models. To this end, we present SimHaze: a new synthetic haze dataset. More importantly, we show that training with SimHaze alone allows the latest dehazing models to achieve significantly better performance in comparison to previous dehazing datasets. Our dataset and code will be made publicly available.
Universal user representation is an important research topic in industry, and is widely used in diverse downstream user analysis tasks, such as user profiling and user preference prediction. With the rapid development of Internet service platforms, extremely long user behavior sequences have been accumulated. However, existing researches have little ability to model universal user representation based on lifelong sequences of user behavior since registration. In this study, we propose a novel framework called Lifelong User Representation Model (LURM) to tackle this challenge. Specifically, LURM consists of two cascaded sub-models: (i) Bag of Interests (BoI) encodes user behaviors in any time period into a sparse vector with super-high dimension (e.g.,105); (ii) Self-supervised Multi-anchor EncoderNetwork (SMEN) maps sequences of BoI features to multiple low-dimensional user representations by contrastive learning. SMEN achieves almost lossless dimensionality reduction, benefiting from a novel multi-anchor module which can learn different aspects of user preferences. Experiments on several benchmark datasets show that our approach outperforms state-of-the-art unsupervised representation methods in downstream tasks
User representation is essential for providing high-quality commercial services in industry. Universal user representation has received many interests recently, with which we can be free from the cumbersome work of training a specific model for each downstream application. In this paper, we attempt to improve universal user representation from two points of views. First, a contrastive self-supervised learning paradigm is presented to guide the representation model training. It provides a unified framework that allows for long-term or short-term interest representation learning in a data-driven manner. Moreover, a novel multi-interest extraction module is presented. The module introduces an interest dictionary to capture principal interests of the given user, and then generate his/her interest-oriented representations via behavior aggregation. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and applicability of the learned user representations.
In this paper, by leveraging abundant observational transaction data, we propose a novel data-driven and interpretable pricing approach for markdowns, consisting of counterfactual prediction and multi-period price optimization. Firstly, we build a semi-parametric structural model to learn individual price elasticity and predict counterfactual demand. This semi-parametric model takes advantage of both the predictability of nonparametric machine learning model and the interpretability of economic model. Secondly, we propose a multi-period dynamic pricing algorithm to maximize the overall profit of a perishable product over its finite selling horizon. Different with the traditional approaches that use the deterministic demand, we model the uncertainty of counterfactual demand since it inevitably has randomness in the prediction process. Based on the stochastic model, we derive a sequential pricing strategy by Markov decision process, and design a two-stage algorithm to solve it. The proposed algorithm is very efficient. It reduces the time complexity from exponential to polynomial. Experimental results show the advantages of our pricing algorithm, and the proposed framework has been successfully deployed to the well-known e-commerce fresh retail scenario - Freshippo.
We revisit the concept of "adversary" in online learning, motivated by solving robust optimization and adversarial training using online learning methods. While one of the classical setups in online learning deals with the "adversarial" setup, it appears that this concept is used less rigorously, causing confusion in applying results and insights from online learning. Specifically, there are two fundamentally different types of adversaries, depending on whether the "adversary" is able to anticipate the exogenous randomness of the online learning algorithms. This is particularly relevant to robust optimization and adversarial training because the adversarial sequences are often anticipative, and many online learning algorithms do not achieve diminishing regret in such a case. We then apply this to solving robust optimization problems or (equivalently) adversarial training problems via online learning and establish a general approach for a large variety of problem classes using imaginary play. Here two players play against each other, the primal player playing the decisions and the dual player playing realizations of uncertain data. When the game terminates, the primal player has obtained an approximately robust solution. This meta-game allows for solving a large variety of robust optimization and multi-objective optimization problems and generalizes the approach of arXiv:1402.6361.
We study multi-agent coverage algorithms for autonomous monitoring and patrol in urban environments. We consider scenarios in which a team of flying agents uses downward facing cameras (or similar sensors) to observe the environment outside of buildings at street-level. Buildings are considered obstacles that impede movement, and cameras are assumed to be ineffective above a maximum altitude. We study multi-agent urban coverage problems related to this scenario, including: (1) static multi-agent urban coverage, in which agents are expected to observe the environment from static locations, and (2) dynamic multi-agent urban coverage where agents move continuously through the environment. We experimentally evaluate six different multi-agent coverage methods, including: three types of ergodic coverage (that avoid buildings in different ways), lawn-mower sweep, voronoi region based control, and a naive grid method. We evaluate all algorithms with respect to four performance metrics (percent coverage, revist count, revist time, and the integral of area viewed over time), across four types of urban environments [low density, high density] x [short buildings, tall buildings], and for team sizes ranging from 2 to 25 agents. We believe this is the first extensive comparison of these methods in an urban setting. Our results highlight how the relative performance of static and dynamic methods changes based on the ratio of team size to search area, as well the relative effects that different characteristics of urban environments (tall, short, dense, sparse, mixed) have on each algorithm.
Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) tend to suffer performance degradation as model depth increases, which is usually attributed in previous works to the oversmoothing problem. However, we find that although oversmoothing is a contributing factor, the main reasons for this phenomenon are training difficulty and overfitting, which we study by experimentally investigating Graph Convolutional Networks (GCNs), a representative GNN architecture. We find that training difficulty is caused by gradient vanishing and can be solved by adding residual connections. More importantly, overfitting is the major obstacle for deep GCNs and cannot be effectively solved by existing regularization techniques. Deep GCNs also suffer training instability, which slows down the training process. To address overfitting and training instability, we propose Node Normalization (NodeNorm), which normalizes each node using its own statistics in model training. The proposed NodeNorm regularizes deep GCNs by discouraging feature-wise correlation of hidden embeddings and increasing model smoothness with respect to input node features, and thus effectively reduces overfitting. Additionally, it stabilizes the training process and hence speeds up the training. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our NodeNorm method generalizes well to other GNN architectures, enabling deep GNNs to compete with and even outperform shallow ones. Code is publicly available.