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"autonomous cars": models, code, and papers

HOMRS: High Order Metamorphic Relations Selector for Deep Neural Networks

Jul 10, 2021
Florian Tambon, Giulio Antoniol, Foutse Khomh

Deep Neural Networks (DNN) applications are increasingly becoming a part of our everyday life, from medical applications to autonomous cars. Traditional validation of DNN relies on accuracy measures, however, the existence of adversarial examples has highlighted the limitations of these accuracy measures, raising concerns especially when DNN are integrated into safety-critical systems. In this paper, we present HOMRS, an approach to boost metamorphic testing by automatically building a small optimized set of high order metamorphic relations from an initial set of elementary metamorphic relations. HOMRS' backbone is a multi-objective search; it exploits ideas drawn from traditional systems testing such as code coverage, test case, and path diversity. We applied HOMRS to LeNet5 DNN with MNIST dataset and we report evidence that it builds a small but effective set of high order transformations achieving a 95% kill ratio. Five raters manually labeled a pool of images before and after high order transformation; Fleiss' Kappa and statistical tests confirmed that they are metamorphic properties. HOMRS built-in relations are also effective to confront adversarial or out-of-distribution examples; HOMRS detected 92% of randomly sampled out-of-distribution images. HOMRS transformations are also suitable for online real-time use.

* 19 pages, 2 figures 
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Perception-aware Multi-sensor Fusion for 3D LiDAR Semantic Segmentation

Jun 21, 2021
Zhuangwei Zhuang, Rong Li, Yuanqing Li, Kui Jia, Qicheng Wang, Mingkui Tan

3D LiDAR (light detection and ranging) based semantic segmentation is important in scene understanding for many applications, such as auto-driving and robotics. For example, for autonomous cars equipped with RGB cameras and LiDAR, it is crucial to fuse complementary information from different sensors for robust and accurate segmentation. Existing fusion-based methods, however, may not achieve promising performance due to the vast difference between two modalities. In this work, we investigate a collaborative fusion scheme called perception-aware multi-sensor fusion (PMF) to exploit perceptual information from two modalities, namely, appearance information from RGB images and spatio-depth information from point clouds. To this end, we first project point clouds to the camera coordinates to provide spatio-depth information for RGB images. Then, we propose a two-stream network to extract features from the two modalities, separately, and fuse the features by effective residual-based fusion modules. Moreover, we propose additional perception-aware losses to measure the great perceptual difference between the two modalities. Extensive experiments on two benchmark data sets show the superiority of our method. For example, on nuScenes, our PMF outperforms the state-of-the-art method by 0.8% in mIoU.

* 11 pages,9 figures 
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Targeted Deep Learning: Framework, Methods, and Applications

May 28, 2021
Shih-Ting Huang, Johannes Lederer

Deep learning systems are typically designed to perform for a wide range of test inputs. For example, deep learning systems in autonomous cars are supposed to deal with traffic situations for which they were not specifically trained. In general, the ability to cope with a broad spectrum of unseen test inputs is called generalization. Generalization is definitely important in applications where the possible test inputs are known but plentiful or simply unknown, but there are also cases where the possible inputs are few and unlabeled but known beforehand. For example, medicine is currently interested in targeting treatments to individual patients; the number of patients at any given time is usually small (typically one), their diagnoses/responses/... are still unknown, but their general characteristics (such as genome information, protein levels in the blood, and so forth) are known before the treatment. We propose to call deep learning in such applications targeted deep learning. In this paper, we introduce a framework for targeted deep learning, and we devise and test an approach for adapting standard pipelines to the requirements of targeted deep learning. The approach is very general yet easy to use: it can be implemented as a simple data-preprocessing step. We demonstrate on a variety of real-world data that our approach can indeed render standard deep learning faster and more accurate when the test inputs are known beforehand.

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Object Tracking by Detection with Visual and Motion Cues

Jan 19, 2021
Niels Ole Salscheider

Self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles need to detect and track objects in camera images. We present a simple online tracking algorithm that is based on a constant velocity motion model with a Kalman filter, and an assignment heuristic. The assignment heuristic relies on four metrics: An embedding vector that describes the appearance of objects and can be used to re-identify them, a displacement vector that describes the object movement between two consecutive video frames, the Mahalanobis distance between the Kalman filter states and the new detections, and a class distance. These metrics are combined with a linear SVM, and then the assignment problem is solved by the Hungarian algorithm. We also propose an efficient CNN architecture that estimates these metrics. Our multi-frame model accepts two consecutive video frames which are processed individually in the backbone, and then optical flow is estimated on the resulting feature maps. This allows the network heads to estimate the displacement vectors. We evaluate our approach on the challenging BDD100K tracking dataset. Our multi-frame model achieves a good MOTA value of 39.1% with low localization error of 0.206 in MOTP. Our fast single-frame model achieves an even lower localization error of 0.202 in MOTP, and a MOTA value of 36.8%.

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Evaluating Explanation Without Ground Truth in Interpretable Machine Learning

Jul 16, 2019
Fan Yang, Mengnan Du, Xia Hu

Interpretable Machine Learning (IML) has become increasingly important in many applications, such as autonomous cars and medical diagnosis, where explanations are preferred to help people better understand how machine learning systems work and further enhance their trust towards systems. Particularly in robotics, explanations from IML are significantly helpful in providing reasons for those adverse and inscrutable actions, which could impair the safety and profit of the public. 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 quantifying system boundaries, but also helps to realize the true benefits to human users in real-world applications. To benchmark evaluation in IML, in this paper, we rigorously define the problem of evaluating explanations, and systematically review the existing efforts. Specifically, we summarize three general aspects of explanation (i.e., predictability, 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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A Curriculum Domain Adaptation Approach to the Semantic Segmentation of Urban Scenes

Jan 10, 2019
Yang Zhang, Philip David, Hassan Foroosh, Boqing Gong

During the last half decade, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have triumphed over semantic segmentation, which is one of the core tasks in many applications such as autonomous driving and augmented reality. However, to train CNNs requires a considerable amount of data, which is difficult to collect and laborious to annotate. Recent advances in computer graphics make it possible to train CNNs on photo-realistic synthetic imagery with computer-generated annotations. Despite this, the domain mismatch between the real images and the synthetic data hinders the models' performance. Hence, we propose a curriculum-style learning approach to minimizing the domain gap in urban scene semantic segmentation. The curriculum domain adaptation solves easy tasks first to infer necessary properties about the target domain; in particular, the first task is to learn global label distributions over images and local distributions over landmark superpixels. These are easy to estimate because images of urban scenes have strong idiosyncrasies (e.g., the size and spatial relations of buildings, streets, cars, etc.). We then train a segmentation network, while regularizing its predictions in the target domain to follow those inferred properties. In experiments, our method outperforms the baselines on two datasets and two backbone networks. We also report extensive ablation studies about our approach.

* This is the journal version of arXiv:1707.09465 
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UrbanScene3D: A Large Scale Urban Scene Dataset and Simulator

Jul 09, 2021
Yilin Liu, Fuyou Xue, Hui Huang

The ability to perceive the environments in different ways is essential to robotic research. This involves the analysis of both 2D and 3D data sources. We present a large scale urban scene dataset associated with a handy simulator based on Unreal Engine 4 and AirSim, which consists of both man-made and real-world reconstruction scenes in different scales, referred to as UrbanScene3D. Unlike previous works that purely based on 2D information or man-made 3D CAD models, UrbanScene3D contains both compact man-made models and detailed real-world models reconstructed by aerial images. Each building has been manually extracted from the entire scene model and then has been assigned with a unique label, forming an instance segmentation map. The provided 3D ground-truth textured models with instance segmentation labels in UrbanScene3D allow users to obtain all kinds of data they would like to have: instance segmentation map, depth map in arbitrary resolution, 3D point cloud/mesh in both visible and invisible places, etc. In addition, with the help of AirSim, users can also simulate the robots (cars/drones)to test a variety of autonomous tasks in the proposed city environment. Please refer to our paper and website( for further details and applications.

* Project page: 
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Detection and Classification of Industrial Signal Lights for Factory Floors

May 28, 2020
Felix Nilsson, Jens Jakobsen, Fernando Alonso-Fernandez

Industrial manufacturing has developed during the last decades from a labor-intensive manual control of machines to a fully-connected automated process. The next big leap is known as industry 4.0, or smart manufacturing. With industry 4.0 comes increased integration between IT systems and the factory floor from the customer order system to final delivery of the product. One benefit of this integration is mass production of individually customized products. However, this has proven challenging to implement into existing factories, considering that their lifetime can be up to 30 years. The single most important parameter to measure in a factory is the operating hours of each machine. Operating hours can be affected by machine maintenance as well as re-configuration for different products. For older machines without connectivity, the operating state is typically indicated by signal lights of green, yellow and red colours. Accordingly, the goal is to develop a solution which can measure the operational state using the input from a video camera capturing a factory floor. Using methods commonly employed for traffic light recognition in autonomous cars, a system with an accuracy of over 99% in the specified conditions is presented. It is believed that if more diverse video data becomes available, a system with high reliability that generalizes well could be developed using a similar methodology.

* Published at Proc International Conference on Intelligent Systems and Computer Vision, ISCV, Fez, Morocco, 9-11 June 2020 
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Robust Semantic Segmentation in Adverse Weather Conditions by means of Sensor Data Fusion

May 24, 2019
Andreas Pfeuffer, Klaus Dietmayer

A robust and reliable semantic segmentation in adverse weather conditions is very important for autonomous cars, but most state-of-the-art approaches only achieve high accuracy rates in optimal weather conditions. The reason is that they are only optimized for good weather conditions and given noise models. However, most of them fail, if data with unknown disturbances occur, and their performance decrease enormously. One possibility to still obtain reliable results is to observe the environment with different sensor types, such as camera and lidar, and to fuse the sensor data by means of neural networks, since different sensors behave differently in diverse weather conditions. Hence, the sensors can complement each other by means of an appropriate sensor data fusion. Nevertheless, the fusion-based approaches are still susceptible to disturbances and fail to classify disturbed image areas correctly. This problem can be solved by means of a special training method, the so called Robust Learning Method (RLM), a method by which the neural network learns to handle unknown noise. In this work, two different sensor fusion architectures for semantic segmentation are compared and evaluated on several datasets. Furthermore, it is shown that the RLM increases the robustness in adverse weather conditions enormously, and achieve good results although no disturbance model has been learned by the neural network.

* 22st International Conference on Information Fusion (FUSION) (2019) 
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