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Wei Zhan

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Pre-training on Synthetic Driving Data for Trajectory Prediction

Sep 20, 2023
Yiheng Li, Seth Z. Zhao, Chenfeng Xu, Chen Tang, Chenran Li, Mingyu Ding, Masayoshi Tomizuka, Wei Zhan

Accumulating substantial volumes of real-world driving data proves pivotal in the realm of trajectory forecasting for autonomous driving. Given the heavy reliance of current trajectory forecasting models on data-driven methodologies, we aim to tackle the challenge of learning general trajectory forecasting representations under limited data availability. We propose to augment both HD maps and trajectories and apply pre-training strategies on top of them. Specifically, we take advantage of graph representations of HD-map and apply vector transformations to reshape the maps, to easily enrich the limited number of scenes. Additionally, we employ a rule-based model to generate trajectories based on augmented scenes; thus enlarging the trajectories beyond the collected real ones. To foster the learning of general representations within this augmented dataset, we comprehensively explore the different pre-training strategies, including extending the concept of a Masked AutoEncoder (MAE) for trajectory forecasting. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our data expansion and pre-training strategies, which outperform the baseline prediction model by large margins, e.g. 5.04%, 3.84% and 8.30% in terms of $MR_6$, $minADE_6$ and $minFDE_6$.

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Guided Online Distillation: Promoting Safe Reinforcement Learning by Offline Demonstration

Sep 18, 2023
Jinning Li, Xinyi Liu, Banghua Zhu, Jiantao Jiao, Masayoshi Tomizuka, Chen Tang, Wei Zhan

Safe Reinforcement Learning (RL) aims to find a policy that achieves high rewards while satisfying cost constraints. When learning from scratch, safe RL agents tend to be overly conservative, which impedes exploration and restrains the overall performance. In many realistic tasks, e.g. autonomous driving, large-scale expert demonstration data are available. We argue that extracting expert policy from offline data to guide online exploration is a promising solution to mitigate the conserveness issue. Large-capacity models, e.g. decision transformers (DT), have been proven to be competent in offline policy learning. However, data collected in real-world scenarios rarely contain dangerous cases (e.g., collisions), which makes it prohibitive for the policies to learn safety concepts. Besides, these bulk policy networks cannot meet the computation speed requirements at inference time on real-world tasks such as autonomous driving. To this end, we propose Guided Online Distillation (GOLD), an offline-to-online safe RL framework. GOLD distills an offline DT policy into a lightweight policy network through guided online safe RL training, which outperforms both the offline DT policy and online safe RL algorithms. Experiments in both benchmark safe RL tasks and real-world driving tasks based on the Waymo Open Motion Dataset (WOMD) demonstrate that GOLD can successfully distill lightweight policies and solve decision-making problems in challenging safety-critical scenarios.

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DELFlow: Dense Efficient Learning of Scene Flow for Large-Scale Point Clouds

Aug 09, 2023
Chensheng Peng, Guangming Wang, Xian Wan Lo, Xinrui Wu, Chenfeng Xu, Masayoshi Tomizuka, Wei Zhan, Hesheng Wang

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Point clouds are naturally sparse, while image pixels are dense. The inconsistency limits feature fusion from both modalities for point-wise scene flow estimation. Previous methods rarely predict scene flow from the entire point clouds of the scene with one-time inference due to the memory inefficiency and heavy overhead from distance calculation and sorting involved in commonly used farthest point sampling, KNN, and ball query algorithms for local feature aggregation. To mitigate these issues in scene flow learning, we regularize raw points to a dense format by storing 3D coordinates in 2D grids. Unlike the sampling operation commonly used in existing works, the dense 2D representation 1) preserves most points in the given scene, 2) brings in a significant boost of efficiency, and 3) eliminates the density gap between points and pixels, allowing us to perform effective feature fusion. We also present a novel warping projection technique to alleviate the information loss problem resulting from the fact that multiple points could be mapped into one grid during projection when computing cost volume. Sufficient experiments demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of our method, outperforming the prior-arts on the FlyingThings3D and KITTI dataset.

* Accepted by ICCV2023. Codes will be released at 
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NeRF-Det: Learning Geometry-Aware Volumetric Representation for Multi-View 3D Object Detection

Jul 27, 2023
Chenfeng Xu, Bichen Wu, Ji Hou, Sam Tsai, Ruilong Li, Jialiang Wang, Wei Zhan, Zijian He, Peter Vajda, Kurt Keutzer, Masayoshi Tomizuka

We present NeRF-Det, a novel method for indoor 3D detection with posed RGB images as input. Unlike existing indoor 3D detection methods that struggle to model scene geometry, our method makes novel use of NeRF in an end-to-end manner to explicitly estimate 3D geometry, thereby improving 3D detection performance. Specifically, to avoid the significant extra latency associated with per-scene optimization of NeRF, we introduce sufficient geometry priors to enhance the generalizability of NeRF-MLP. Furthermore, we subtly connect the detection and NeRF branches through a shared MLP, enabling an efficient adaptation of NeRF to detection and yielding geometry-aware volumetric representations for 3D detection. Our method outperforms state-of-the-arts by 3.9 mAP and 3.1 mAP on the ScanNet and ARKITScenes benchmarks, respectively. We provide extensive analysis to shed light on how NeRF-Det works. As a result of our joint-training design, NeRF-Det is able to generalize well to unseen scenes for object detection, view synthesis, and depth estimation tasks without requiring per-scene optimization. Code is available at \url{}.

* Accepted by ICCV 2023 
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An Efficient General-Purpose Modular Vision Model via Multi-Task Heterogeneous Training

Jun 29, 2023
Zitian Chen, Mingyu Ding, Yikang Shen, Wei Zhan, Masayoshi Tomizuka, Erik Learned-Miller, Chuang Gan

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We present a model that can perform multiple vision tasks and can be adapted to other downstream tasks efficiently. Despite considerable progress in multi-task learning, most efforts focus on learning from multi-label data: a single image set with multiple task labels. Such multi-label data sets are rare, small, and expensive. We say heterogeneous to refer to image sets with different task labels, or to combinations of single-task datasets. Few have explored training on such heterogeneous datasets. General-purpose vision models are still dominated by single-task pretraining, and it remains unclear how to scale up multi-task models by leveraging mainstream vision datasets designed for different purposes. The challenges lie in managing large intrinsic differences among vision tasks, including data distribution, architectures, task-specific modules, dataset scales, and sampling strategies. To address these challenges, we propose to modify and scale up mixture-of-experts (MoE) vision transformers, so that they can simultaneously learn classification, detection, and segmentation on diverse mainstream vision datasets including ImageNet, COCO, and ADE20K. Our approach achieves comparable results to single-task state-of-the-art models and demonstrates strong generalization on downstream tasks. Due to its emergent modularity, this general-purpose model decomposes into high-performing components, efficiently adapting to downstream tasks. We can fine-tune it with fewer training parameters, fewer model parameters, and less computation. Additionally, its modularity allows for easy expansion in continual-learning-without-forgetting scenarios. Finally, these functions can be controlled and combined to meet various demands of downstream tasks.

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Skill-Critic: Refining Learned Skills for Reinforcement Learning

Jun 16, 2023
Ce Hao, Catherine Weaver, Chen Tang, Kenta Kawamoto, Masayoshi Tomizuka, Wei Zhan

Hierarchical reinforcement learning (RL) can accelerate long-horizon decision-making by temporally abstracting a policy into multiple levels. Promising results in sparse reward environments have been seen with skills, i.e. sequences of primitive actions. Typically, a skill latent space and policy are discovered from offline data, but the resulting low-level policy can be unreliable due to low-coverage demonstrations or distribution shifts. As a solution, we propose fine-tuning the low-level policy in conjunction with high-level skill selection. Our Skill-Critic algorithm optimizes both the low and high-level policies; these policies are also initialized and regularized by the latent space learned from offline demonstrations to guide the joint policy optimization. We validate our approach in multiple sparse RL environments, including a new sparse reward autonomous racing task in Gran Turismo Sport. The experiments show that Skill-Critic's low-level policy fine-tuning and demonstration-guided regularization are essential for optimal performance. Images and videos are available at We plan to open source the code with the final version.

* Preprint 
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Residual Q-Learning: Offline and Online Policy Customization without Value

Jun 15, 2023
Chenran Li, Chen Tang, Haruki Nishimura, Jean Mercat, Masayoshi Tomizuka, Wei Zhan

Imitation Learning (IL) is a widely used framework for learning imitative behavior from demonstrations. It is especially appealing for solving complex real-world tasks where handcrafting reward function is difficult, or when the goal is to mimic human expert behavior. However, the learned imitative policy can only follow the behavior in the demonstration. When applying the imitative policy, we may need to customize the policy behavior to meet different requirements coming from diverse downstream tasks. Meanwhile, we still want the customized policy to maintain its imitative nature. To this end, we formulate a new problem setting called policy customization. It defines the learning task as training a policy that inherits the characteristics of the prior policy while satisfying some additional requirements imposed by a target downstream task. We propose a novel and principled approach to interpret and determine the trade-off between the two task objectives. Specifically, we formulate the customization problem as a Markov Decision Process (MDP) with a reward function that combines 1) the inherent reward of the demonstration; and 2) the add-on reward specified by the downstream task. We propose a novel framework, Residual Q-learning, which can solve the formulated MDP by leveraging the prior policy without knowing the inherent reward or value function of the prior policy. We derive a family of residual Q-learning algorithms that can realize offline and online policy customization, and show that the proposed algorithms can effectively accomplish policy customization tasks in various environments.

* The first two authors contributed equally 
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Doubly Robust Self-Training

Jun 01, 2023
Banghua Zhu, Mingyu Ding, Philip Jacobson, Ming Wu, Wei Zhan, Michael Jordan, Jiantao Jiao

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Self-training is an important technique for solving semi-supervised learning problems. It leverages unlabeled data by generating pseudo-labels and combining them with a limited labeled dataset for training. The effectiveness of self-training heavily relies on the accuracy of these pseudo-labels. In this paper, we introduce doubly robust self-training, a novel semi-supervised algorithm that provably balances between two extremes. When the pseudo-labels are entirely incorrect, our method reduces to a training process solely using labeled data. Conversely, when the pseudo-labels are completely accurate, our method transforms into a training process utilizing all pseudo-labeled data and labeled data, thus increasing the effective sample size. Through empirical evaluations on both the ImageNet dataset for image classification and the nuScenes autonomous driving dataset for 3D object detection, we demonstrate the superiority of the doubly robust loss over the standard self-training baseline.

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Double-Iterative Gaussian Process Regression for Modeling Error Compensation in Autonomous Racing

May 12, 2023
Shaoshu Su, Ce Hao, Catherine Weaver, Chen Tang, Wei Zhan, Masayoshi Tomizuka

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Autonomous racing control is a challenging research problem as vehicles are pushed to their limits of handling to achieve an optimal lap time; therefore, vehicles exhibit highly nonlinear and complex dynamics. Difficult-to-model effects, such as drifting, aerodynamics, chassis weight transfer, and suspension can lead to infeasible and suboptimal trajectories. While offline planning allows optimizing a full reference trajectory for the minimum lap time objective, such modeling discrepancies are particularly detrimental when using offline planning, as planning model errors compound with controller modeling errors. Gaussian Process Regression (GPR) can compensate for modeling errors. However, previous works primarily focus on modeling error in real-time control without consideration for how the model used in offline planning can affect the overall performance. In this work, we propose a double-GPR error compensation algorithm to reduce model uncertainties; specifically, we compensate both the planner's model and controller's model with two respective GPR-based error compensation functions. Furthermore, we design an iterative framework to re-collect error-rich data using the racing control system. We test our method in the high-fidelity racing simulator Gran Turismo Sport (GTS); we find that our iterative, double-GPR compensation functions improve racing performance and iteration stability in comparison to a single compensation function applied merely for real-time control.

* 8 Pages, 6 Figures, Accepted by IFAC 2023 (The 22nd World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control) 
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