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"autonomous cars": models, code, and papers

View Vertically: A Hierarchical Network for Trajectory Prediction via Fourier Spectrums

Oct 14, 2021
Conghao Wong, Beihao Xia, Ziming Hong, Qinmu Peng, Xinge You

Learning to understand and predict future motions or behaviors for agents like humans and robots are critical to various autonomous platforms, such as behavior analysis, robot navigation, and self-driving cars. Intrinsic factors such as agents' diversified personalities and decision-making styles bring rich and diverse changes and multi-modal characteristics to their future plannings. Besides, the extrinsic interactive factors have also brought rich and varied changes to their trajectories. Previous methods mostly treat trajectories as time sequences, and reach great prediction performance. In this work, we try to focus on agents' trajectories in another view, i.e., the Fourier spectrums, to explore their future behavior rules in a novel hierarchical way. We propose the Transformer-based V model, which concatenates two continuous keypoints estimation and spectrum interpolation sub-networks, to model and predict agents' trajectories with spectrums in the keypoints and interactions levels respectively. Experimental results show that V outperforms most of current state-of-the-art methods on ETH-UCY and SDD trajectories dataset for about 15\% quantitative improvements, and performs better qualitative results.

  
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Combined Image- and World-Space Tracking in Traffic Scenes

Sep 19, 2018
Aljosa Osep, Wolfgang Mehner, Markus Mathias, Bastian Leibe

Tracking in urban street scenes plays a central role in autonomous systems such as self-driving cars. Most of the current vision-based tracking methods perform tracking in the image domain. Other approaches, eg based on LIDAR and radar, track purely in 3D. While some vision-based tracking methods invoke 3D information in parts of their pipeline, and some 3D-based methods utilize image-based information in components of their approach, we propose to use image- and world-space information jointly throughout our method. We present our tracking pipeline as a 3D extension of image-based tracking. From enhancing the detections with 3D measurements to the reported positions of every tracked object, we use world-space 3D information at every stage of processing. We accomplish this by our novel coupled 2D-3D Kalman filter, combined with a conceptually clean and extendable hypothesize-and-select framework. Our approach matches the current state-of-the-art on the official KITTI benchmark, which performs evaluation in the 2D image domain only. Further experiments show significant improvements in 3D localization precision by enabling our coupled 2D-3D tracking.

* 8 pages, 7 figures, 2 tables. ICRA 2017 paper 
  
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(AF)2-S3Net: Attentive Feature Fusion with Adaptive Feature Selection for Sparse Semantic Segmentation Network

Feb 08, 2021
Ran Cheng, Ryan Razani, Ehsan Taghavi, Enxu Li, Bingbing Liu

Autonomous robotic systems and self driving cars rely on accurate perception of their surroundings as the safety of the passengers and pedestrians is the top priority. Semantic segmentation is one the essential components of environmental perception that provides semantic information of the scene. Recently, several methods have been introduced for 3D LiDAR semantic segmentation. While, they can lead to improved performance, they are either afflicted by high computational complexity, therefore are inefficient, or lack fine details of smaller instances. To alleviate this problem, we propose AF2-S3Net, an end-to-end encoder-decoder CNN network for 3D LiDAR semantic segmentation. We present a novel multi-branch attentive feature fusion module in the encoder and a unique adaptive feature selection module with feature map re-weighting in the decoder. Our AF2-S3Net fuses the voxel based learning and point-based learning into a single framework to effectively process the large 3D scene. Our experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches on the large-scale SemanticKITTI benchmark, ranking 1st on the competitive public leaderboard competition upon publication.

* 10 pages, 6 figures, 4 tables 
  
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Attention-based 3D Object Reconstruction from a Single Image

Aug 11, 2020
Andrey Salvi, Nathan Gavenski, Eduardo Pooch, Felipe Tasoniero, Rodrigo Barros

Recently, learning-based approaches for 3D reconstruction from 2D images have gained popularity due to its modern applications, e.g., 3D printers, autonomous robots, self-driving cars, virtual reality, and augmented reality. The computer vision community has applied a great effort in developing functions to reconstruct the full 3D geometry of objects and scenes. However, to extract image features, they rely on convolutional neural networks, which are ineffective in capturing long-range dependencies. In this paper, we propose to substantially improve Occupancy Networks, a state-of-the-art method for 3D object reconstruction. For such we apply the concept of self-attention within the network's encoder in order to leverage complementary input features rather than those based on local regions, helping the encoder to extract global information. With our approach, we were capable of improving the original work in 5.05% of mesh IoU, 0.83% of Normal Consistency, and more than 10X the Chamfer-L1 distance. We also perform a qualitative study that shows that our approach was able to generate much more consistent meshes, confirming its increased generalization power over the current state-of-the-art.

* International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN) - 2020 
* 8 pages, 4 figures, 3 tables 
  
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DirectShape: Photometric Alignment of Shape Priors for Visual Vehicle Pose and Shape Estimation

Apr 22, 2019
Rui Wang, Nan Yang, Joerg Stueckler, Daniel Cremers

3D scene understanding from images is a challenging problem which is encountered in robotics, augmented reality and autonomous driving scenarios. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to jointly infer the 3D rigid-body poses and shapes of vehicles from stereo images of road scenes. Unlike previous work that relies on geometric alignment of shapes with dense stereo reconstructions, our approach works directly on images and infers shape and pose efficiently through combined photometric and silhouette alignment of 3D shape priors with a stereo image. We use a shape prior that represents cars in a low-dimensional linear embedding of volumetric signed distance functions. For efficiently measuring the consistency with both alignment terms, we propose an adaptive sparse point selection scheme. In experiments, we demonstrate superior performance of our method in pose estimation and shape reconstruction over a state-of-the-art approach that uses geometric alignment with dense stereo reconstructions. Our approach can also boost the performance of deep-learning based approaches to 3D object detection as a refinement method. We demonstrate that our method significantly improves accuracy for several recent detection approaches.

  
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Lost and Found: Detecting Small Road Hazards for Self-Driving Vehicles

Sep 15, 2016
Peter Pinggera, Sebastian Ramos, Stefan Gehrig, Uwe Franke, Carsten Rother, Rudolf Mester

Detecting small obstacles on the road ahead is a critical part of the driving task which has to be mastered by fully autonomous cars. In this paper, we present a method based on stereo vision to reliably detect such obstacles from a moving vehicle. The proposed algorithm performs statistical hypothesis tests in disparity space directly on stereo image data, assessing freespace and obstacle hypotheses on independent local patches. This detection approach does not depend on a global road model and handles both static and moving obstacles. For evaluation, we employ a novel lost-cargo image sequence dataset comprising more than two thousand frames with pixelwise annotations of obstacle and free-space and provide a thorough comparison to several stereo-based baseline methods. The dataset will be made available to the community to foster further research on this important topic. The proposed approach outperforms all considered baselines in our evaluations on both pixel and object level and runs at frame rates of up to 20 Hz on 2 mega-pixel stereo imagery. Small obstacles down to the height of 5 cm can successfully be detected at 20 m distance at low false positive rates.

* To be presented at IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2016 
  
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Monitoring and Diagnosability of Perception Systems

May 27, 2020
Pasquale Antonante, David I. Spivak, Luca Carlone

Perception is a critical component of high-integrity applications of robotics and autonomous systems, such as self-driving cars. In these applications, failure of perception systems may put human life at risk, and a broad adoption of these technologies relies on the development of methodologies to guarantee and monitor safe operation as well as detect and mitigate failures. Despite the paramount importance of perception systems, currently there is no formal approach for system-level monitoring. In this work, we propose a mathematical model for runtime monitoring and fault detection of perception systems. Towards this goal, we draw connections with the literature on self-diagnosability for multiprocessor systems, and generalize it to (i) account for modules with heterogeneous outputs, and (ii) add a temporal dimension to the problem, which is crucial to model realistic perception systems where modules interact over time. This contribution results in a graph-theoretic approach that, given a perception system, is able to detect faults at runtime and allows computing an upper-bound on the number of faulty modules that can be detected. Our second contribution is to show that the proposed monitoring approach can be elegantly described with the language of topos theory, which allows formulating diagnosability over arbitrary time intervals.

  
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Evaluating Explanation Without Ground Truth in Interpretable Machine Learning

Aug 15, 2019
Fan Yang, Mengnan Du, Xia Hu

Interpretable Machine Learning (IML) has become increasingly important in many real-world applications, such as autonomous cars and medical diagnosis, where explanations are significantly preferred to help people better understand how machine learning systems work and further enhance their trust towards systems. However, due to the diversified scenarios and subjective nature of explanations, we rarely have the ground truth for benchmark evaluation in IML on the quality of generated explanations. Having a sense of explanation quality not only matters for assessing system boundaries, but also helps to realize the true benefits to human users in practical settings. To benchmark the evaluation in IML, in this article, we rigorously define the problem of evaluating explanations, and systematically review the existing efforts from state-of-the-arts. Specifically, we summarize three general aspects of explanation (i.e., generalizability, fidelity and persuasibility) with formal definitions, and respectively review the representative methodologies for each of them under different tasks. Further, a unified evaluation framework is designed according to the hierarchical needs from developers and end-users, which could be easily adopted for different scenarios in practice. In the end, open problems are discussed, and several limitations of current evaluation techniques are raised for future explorations.

  
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Accelerating Recursive Partition-Based Causal Structure Learning

Feb 23, 2021
Md. Musfiqur Rahman, Ayman Rasheed, Md. Mosaddek Khan, Mohammad Ali Javidian, Pooyan Jamshidi, Md. Mamun-Or-Rashid

Causal structure discovery from observational data is fundamental to the causal understanding of autonomous systems such as medical decision support systems, advertising campaigns and self-driving cars. This is essential to solve well-known causal decision making and prediction problems associated with those real-world applications. Recently, recursive causal discovery algorithms have gained particular attention among the research community due to their ability to provide good results by using Conditional Independent (CI) tests in smaller sub-problems. However, each of such algorithms needs a refinement function to remove undesired causal relations of the discovered graphs. Notably, with the increase of the problem size, the computation cost (i.e., the number of CI-tests) of the refinement function makes an algorithm expensive to deploy in practice. This paper proposes a generic causal structure refinement strategy that can locate the undesired relations with a small number of CI-tests, thus speeding up the algorithm for large and complex problems. We theoretically prove the correctness of our algorithm. We then empirically evaluate its performance against the state-of-the-art algorithms in terms of solution quality and completion time in synthetic and real datasets.

  
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