With the increasing reliance on small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) for Emergency Response Scenarios, such as Search and Rescue, the integration of computer vision capabilities has become a key factor in mission success. Nevertheless, computer vision performance for detecting humans severely degrades when shifting from ground to aerial views. Several aerial datasets have been created to mitigate this problem, however, none of them has specifically addressed the issue of occlusion, a critical component in Emergency Response Scenarios. Natural Occluded Multi-scale Aerial Dataset (NOMAD) presents a benchmark for human detection under occluded aerial views, with five different aerial distances and rich imagery variance. NOMAD is composed of 100 different Actors, all performing sequences of walking, laying and hiding. It includes 42,825 frames, extracted from 5.4k resolution videos, and manually annotated with a bounding box and a label describing 10 different visibility levels, categorized according to the percentage of the human body visible inside the bounding box. This allows computer vision models to be evaluated on their detection performance across different ranges of occlusion. NOMAD is designed to improve the effectiveness of aerial search and rescue and to enhance collaboration between sUAS and humans, by providing a new benchmark dataset for human detection under occluded aerial views.
CyberPhysical systems (CPS) must be closely monitored to identify and potentially mitigate emergent problems that arise during their routine operations. However, the multivariate time-series data which they typically produce can be complex to understand and analyze. While formal product documentation often provides example data plots with diagnostic suggestions, the sheer diversity of attributes, critical thresholds, and data interactions can be overwhelming to non-experts who subsequently seek help from discussion forums to interpret their data logs. Deep learning models, such as Long Short-term memory (LSTM) networks can be used to automate these tasks and to provide clear explanations of diverse anomalies detected in real-time multivariate data-streams. In this paper we present RESAM, a requirements process that integrates knowledge from domain experts, discussion forums, and formal product documentation, to discover and specify requirements and design definitions in the form of time-series attributes that contribute to the construction of effective deep learning anomaly detectors. We present a case-study based on a flight control system for small Uncrewed Aerial Systems and demonstrate that its use guides the construction of effective anomaly detection models whilst also providing underlying support for explainability. RESAM is relevant to domains in which open or closed online forums provide discussion support for log analysis.
The MAPE-K feedback loop has been established as the primary reference model for self-adaptive and autonomous systems in domains such as autonomous driving, robotics, and Cyber-Physical Systems. At the same time, the Human Machine Teaming (HMT) paradigm is designed to promote partnerships between humans and autonomous machines. It goes far beyond the degree of collaboration expected in human-on-the-loop and human-in-the-loop systems and emphasizes interactions, partnership, and teamwork between humans and machines. However, while MAPE-K enables fully autonomous behavior, it does not explicitly address the interactions between humans and machines as intended by HMT. In this paper, we present the MAPE-K-HMT framework which augments the traditional MAPE-K loop with support for HMT. We identify critical human-machine teaming factors and describe the infrastructure needed across the various phases of the MAPE-K loop in order to effectively support HMT. This includes runtime models that are constructed and populated dynamically across monitoring, analysis, planning, and execution phases to support human-machine partnerships. We illustrate MAPE-K-HMT using examples from an autonomous multi-UAV emergency response system, and present guidelines for integrating HMT into MAPE-K.
Rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence have shifted the focus from traditional human-directed robots to fully autonomous ones that do not require explicit human control. These are commonly referred to as Human-on-the-Loop (HotL) systems. Transparency of HotL systems necessitates clear explanations of autonomous behavior so that humans are aware of what is happening in the environment and can understand why robots behave in a certain way. However, in complex multi-robot environments, especially those in which the robots are autonomous, mobile, and require intermittent interventions, humans may struggle to maintain situational awareness. Presenting humans with rich explanations of autonomous behavior tends to overload them with too much information and negatively affect their understanding of the situation. Therefore, explaining the autonomous behavior or autonomy of multiple robots creates a design tension that demands careful investigation. This paper examines the User Interface (UI) design trade-offs associated with providing timely and detailed explanations of autonomous behavior for swarms of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) or drones. We analyze the impact of UI design choices on human awareness of the situation. We conducted multiple user studies with both inexperienced and expert sUAS operators to present our design solution and provide initial guidelines for designing the HotL multi-sUAS interface.
Automatic construction of a taxonomy supports many applications in e-commerce, web search, and question answering. Existing taxonomy expansion or completion methods assume that new concepts have been accurately extracted and their embedding vectors learned from the text corpus. However, one critical and fundamental challenge in fixing the incompleteness of taxonomies is the incompleteness of the extracted concepts, especially for those whose names have multiple words and consequently low frequency in the corpus. To resolve the limitations of extraction-based methods, we propose GenTaxo to enhance taxonomy completion by identifying positions in existing taxonomies that need new concepts and then generating appropriate concept names. Instead of relying on the corpus for concept embeddings, GenTaxo learns the contextual embeddings from their surrounding graph-based and language-based relational information, and leverages the corpus for pre-training a concept name generator. Experimental results demonstrate that GenTaxo improves the completeness of taxonomies over existing methods.
Computer vision approaches are widely used by autonomous robotic systems to sense the world around them and to guide their decision making as they perform diverse tasks such as collision avoidance, search and rescue, and object manipulation. High accuracy is critical, particularly for Human-on-the-loop (HoTL) systems where decisions are made autonomously by the system, and humans play only a supervisory role. Failures of the vision model can lead to erroneous decisions with potentially life or death consequences. In this paper, we propose a solution based upon adaptive autonomy levels, whereby the system detects loss of reliability of these models and responds by temporarily lowering its own autonomy levels and increasing engagement of the human in the decision-making process. Our solution is applicable for vision-based tasks in which humans have time to react and provide guidance. When implemented, our approach would estimate the reliability of the vision task by considering uncertainty in its model, and by performing covariate analysis to determine when the current operating environment is ill-matched to the model's training data. We provide examples from DroneResponse, in which small Unmanned Aerial Systems are deployed for Emergency Response missions, and show how the vision model's reliability would be used in addition to confidence scores to drive and specify the behavior and adaptation of the system's autonomy. This workshop paper outlines our proposed approach and describes open challenges at the intersection of Computer Vision and Software Engineering for the safe and reliable deployment of vision models in the decision making of autonomous systems.