Making sense of multiple modalities can yield a more comprehensive description of real-world phenomena. However, learning the co-representation of diverse modalities is still a long-standing endeavor in emerging machine learning applications and research. Previous generative approaches for multimodal input approximate a joint-modality posterior by uni-modality posteriors as product-of-experts (PoE) or mixture-of-experts (MoE). We argue that these approximations lead to a defective bound for the optimization process and loss of semantic connection among modalities. This paper presents a novel variational method on sets called the Set Multimodal VAE (SMVAE) for learning a multimodal latent space while handling the missing modality problem. By modeling the joint-modality posterior distribution directly, the proposed SMVAE learns to exchange information between multiple modalities and compensate for the drawbacks caused by factorization. In public datasets of various domains, the experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method is applicable to order-agnostic cross-modal generation while achieving outstanding performance compared to the state-of-the-art multimodal methods. The source code for our method is available online https://anonymous.4open.science/r/SMVAE-9B3C/.
Distributed fuzzy neural networks (DFNNs) have attracted increasing attention recently due to their learning abilities in handling data uncertainties in distributed scenarios. However, it is challenging for DFNNs to handle cases in which the local data are non-independent and identically distributed (non-IID). In this paper, we propose a federated fuzzy neural network (FedFNN) with evolutionary rule learning (ERL) to cope with non-IID issues as well as data uncertainties. The FedFNN maintains a global set of rules in a server and a personalized subset of these rules for each local client. ERL is inspired by the theory of biological evolution; it encourages rule variations while activating superior rules and deactivating inferior rules for local clients with non-IID data. Specifically, ERL consists of two stages in an iterative procedure: a rule cooperation stage that updates global rules by aggregating local rules based on their activation statuses and a rule evolution stage that evolves the global rules and updates the activation statuses of the local rules. This procedure improves both the generalization and personalization of the FedFNN for dealing with non-IID issues and data uncertainties. Extensive experiments conducted on a range of datasets demonstrate the superiority of the FedFNN over state-of-the-art methods.
Heterogeneous big data poses many challenges in machine learning. Its enormous scale, high dimensionality, and inherent uncertainty make almost every aspect of machine learning difficult, from providing enough processing power to maintaining model accuracy to protecting privacy. However, perhaps the most imposing problem is that big data is often interspersed with sensitive personal data. Hence, we propose a privacy-preserving hierarchical fuzzy neural network (PP-HFNN) to address these technical challenges while also alleviating privacy concerns. The network is trained with a two-stage optimization algorithm, and the parameters at low levels of the hierarchy are learned with a scheme based on the well-known alternating direction method of multipliers, which does not reveal local data to other agents. Coordination at high levels of the hierarchy is handled by the alternating optimization method, which converges very quickly. The entire training procedure is scalable, fast and does not suffer from gradient vanishing problems like the methods based on back-propagation. Comprehensive simulations conducted on both regression and classification tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model.
The multiple-target self-organizing pursuit (SOP) problem has wide applications and has been considered a challenging self-organization game for distributed systems, in which intelligent agents cooperatively pursue multiple dynamic targets with partial observations. This work proposes a framework for decentralized multi-agent systems to improve intelligent agents' search and pursuit capabilities. We model a self-organizing system as a partially observable Markov game (POMG) with the features of decentralization, partial observation, and noncommunication. The proposed distributed algorithm: fuzzy self-organizing cooperative coevolution (FSC2) is then leveraged to resolve the three challenges in multi-target SOP: distributed self-organizing search (SOS), distributed task allocation, and distributed single-target pursuit. FSC2 includes a coordinated multi-agent deep reinforcement learning method that enables homogeneous agents to learn natural SOS patterns. Additionally, we propose a fuzzy-based distributed task allocation method, which locally decomposes multi-target SOP into several single-target pursuit problems. The cooperative coevolution principle is employed to coordinate distributed pursuers for each single-target pursuit problem. Therefore, the uncertainties of inherent partial observation and distributed decision-making in the POMG can be alleviated. The experimental results demonstrate that distributed noncommunicating multi-agent coordination with partial observations in all three subtasks are effective, and 2048 FSC2 agents can perform efficient multi-target SOP with an almost 100% capture rate.
Dense depth estimation plays a key role in multiple applications such as robotics, 3D reconstruction, and augmented reality. While sparse signal, e.g., LiDAR and Radar, has been leveraged as guidance for enhancing dense depth estimation, the improvement is limited due to its low density and imbalanced distribution. To maximize the utility from the sparse source, we propose $S^3$ technique, which expands the depth value from sparse cues while estimating the confidence of expanded region. The proposed $S^3$ can be applied to various guided depth estimation approaches and trained end-to-end at different stages, including input, cost volume and output. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness, robustness, and flexibility of the $S^3$ technique on LiDAR and Radar signal.
While recent progress has significantly boosted few-shot classification (FSC) performance, few-shot object detection (FSOD) remains challenging for modern learning systems. Existing FSOD systems follow FSC approaches, neglect the problem of spatial misalignment and the risk of information entanglement, and result in low performance. Observing this, we propose a novel Dual-Awareness-Attention (DAnA), which captures the pairwise spatial relationship cross the support and query images. The generated query-position-aware support features are robust to spatial misalignment and used to guide the detection network precisely. Our DAnA component is adaptable to various existing object detection networks and boosts FSOD performance by paying attention to specific semantics conditioned on the query. Experimental results demonstrate that DAnA significantly boosts (48% and 125% relatively) object detection performance on the COCO benchmark. By equipping DAnA, conventional object detection models, Faster-RCNN and RetinaNet, which are not designed explicitly for few-shot learning, reach state-of-the-art performance.
The human ability of deep cognitive skills are crucial for the development of various real-world applications that process diverse and abundant user generated input. While recent progress of deep learning and natural language processing have enabled learning system to reach human performance on some benchmarks requiring shallow semantics, such human ability still remains challenging for even modern contextual embedding models, as pointed out by many recent studies. Existing machine comprehension datasets assume sentence-level input, lack of casual or motivational inferences, or could be answered with question-answer bias. Here, we present a challenging novel task, trope detection on films, in an effort to create a situation and behavior understanding for machines. Tropes are storytelling devices that are frequently used as ingredients in recipes for creative works. Comparing to existing movie tag prediction tasks, tropes are more sophisticated as they can vary widely, from a moral concept to a series of circumstances, and embedded with motivations and cause-and-effects. We introduce a new dataset, Tropes in Movie Synopses (TiMoS), with 5623 movie synopses and 95 different tropes collecting from a Wikipedia-style database, TVTropes. We present a multi-stream comprehension network (MulCom) leveraging multi-level attention of words, sentences, and role relations. Experimental result demonstrates that modern models including BERT contextual embedding, movie tag prediction systems, and relational networks, perform at most 37% of human performance (23.97/64.87) in terms of F1 score. Our MulCom outperforms all modern baselines, by 1.5 to 5.0 F1 score and 1.5 to 3.0 mean of average precision (mAP) score. We also provide a detailed analysis and human evaluation to pave ways for future research.
We study a novel task, Video Question-Answer Generation (VQAG), for challenging Video Question Answering (Video QA) task in multimedia. Due to expensive data annotation costs, many widely used, large-scale Video QA datasets such as Video-QA, MSVD-QA and MSRVTT-QA are automatically annotated using Caption Question Generation (CapQG) which inputs captions instead of the video itself. As captions neither fully represent a video, nor are they always practically available, it is crucial to generate question-answer pairs based on a video via Video Question-Answer Generation (VQAG). Existing video-to-text (V2T) approaches, despite taking a video as the input, only generate a question alone. In this work, we propose a novel model Generator-Pretester Network that focuses on two components: (1) The Joint Question-Answer Generator (JQAG) which generates a question with its corresponding answer to allow Video Question "Answering" training. (2) The Pretester (PT) verifies a generated question by trying to answer it and checks the pretested answer with both the model's proposed answer and the ground truth answer. We evaluate our system with the only two available large-scale human-annotated Video QA datasets and achieves state-of-the-art question generation performances. Furthermore, using our generated QA pairs only on the Video QA task, we can surpass some supervised baselines. We apply our generated questions to Video QA applications and surpasses some supervised baselines using generated questions only. As a pre-training strategy, we outperform both CapQG and transfer learning approaches when employing semi-supervised (20%) or fully supervised learning with annotated data. These experimental results suggest the novel perspectives for Video QA training.