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"autonomous cars": models, code, and papers

DeepSmartFuzzer: Reward Guided Test Generation For Deep Learning

Nov 24, 2019
Samet Demir, Hasan Ferit Eniser, Alper Sen

Testing Deep Neural Network (DNN) models has become more important than ever with the increasing usage of DNN models in safety-critical domains such as autonomous cars. The traditional approach of testing DNNs is to create a test set, which is a random subset of the dataset about the problem of interest. This kind of approach is not enough for testing most of the real-world scenarios since these traditional test sets do not include corner cases, while a corner case input is generally considered to introduce erroneous behaviors. Recent works on adversarial input generation, data augmentation, and coverage-guided fuzzing (CGF) have provided new ways to extend traditional test sets. Among those, CGF aims to produce new test inputs by fuzzing existing ones to achieve high coverage on a test adequacy criterion (i.e. coverage criterion). Given that the subject test adequacy criterion is a well-established one, CGF can potentially find error inducing inputs for different underlying reasons. In this paper, we propose a novel CGF solution for structural testing of DNNs. The proposed fuzzer employs Monte Carlo Tree Search to drive the coverage-guided search in the pursuit of achieving high coverage. Our evaluation shows that the inputs generated by our method result in higher coverage than the inputs produced by the previously introduced coverage-guided fuzzing techniques.

  
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Image segmentation of cross-country scenes captured in IR spectrum

Apr 08, 2016
Artem Lenskiy

Computer vision has become a major source of information for autonomous navigation of robots of various types, self-driving cars, military robots and mars/lunar rovers are some examples. Nevertheless, the majority of methods focus on analysing images captured in visible spectrum. In this manuscript we elaborate on the problem of segmenting cross-country scenes captured in IR spectrum. For this purpose we proposed employing salient features. Salient features are robust to variations in scale, brightness and view angle. We suggest the Speeded-Up Robust Features as a basis for our salient features for a number of reasons discussed in the paper. We also provide a comparison of two SURF implementations. The SURF features are extracted from images of different terrain types. For every feature we estimate a terrain class membership function. The membership values are obtained by means of either the multi-layer perceptron or nearest neighbours. The features' class membership values and their spatial positions are then applied to estimate class membership values for all pixels in the image. To decrease the effect of segmentation blinking that is caused by rapid switching between different terrain types and to speed up segmentation, we are tracking camera position and predict features' positions. The comparison of the multi-layer perception and the nearest neighbour classifiers is presented in the paper. The error rate of the terrain segmentation using the nearest neighbours obtained on the testing set is 16.6+-9.17%.

* Corrected version of the chapter published in Advances in Robotics and Virtual Reality, Volume 26 of the series Intelligent Systems Reference Library pp 227-247 
  
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PVNAS: 3D Neural Architecture Search with Point-Voxel Convolution

Apr 26, 2022
Zhijian Liu, Haotian Tang, Shengyu Zhao, Kevin Shao, Song Han

3D neural networks are widely used in real-world applications (e.g., AR/VR headsets, self-driving cars). They are required to be fast and accurate; however, limited hardware resources on edge devices make these requirements rather challenging. Previous work processes 3D data using either voxel-based or point-based neural networks, but both types of 3D models are not hardware-efficient due to the large memory footprint and random memory access. In this paper, we study 3D deep learning from the efficiency perspective. We first systematically analyze the bottlenecks of previous 3D methods. We then combine the best from point-based and voxel-based models together and propose a novel hardware-efficient 3D primitive, Point-Voxel Convolution (PVConv). We further enhance this primitive with the sparse convolution to make it more effective in processing large (outdoor) scenes. Based on our designed 3D primitive, we introduce 3D Neural Architecture Search (3D-NAS) to explore the best 3D network architecture given a resource constraint. We evaluate our proposed method on six representative benchmark datasets, achieving state-of-the-art performance with 1.8-23.7x measured speedup. Furthermore, our method has been deployed to the autonomous racing vehicle of MIT Driverless, achieving larger detection range, higher accuracy and lower latency.

* Journal extension of arXiv:1907.03739 and arXiv:2007.16100 (IEEE TPAMI, 2021). The first two authors contributed equally to this work 
  
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Explainable Goal-Driven Agents and Robots- A Comprehensive Review and New Framework

Apr 21, 2020
Fatai Sado, Chu Kiong Loo, Matthias Kerzel, Stefan Wermter

Recent applications of autonomous agents and robots, for example, self-driving cars, scenario-based trainers, exploration robots, service robots, have brought attention to crucial trust-related problems associated with the current generation of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. AI systems particularly dominated by the connectionist deep learning neural network approach lack capabilities of explaining their decisions and actions to others, despite their great successes. They are fundamentally non-intuitive black boxes, which renders their decision or actions opaque, making it difficult to trust them in safety-critical applications. The recent stance on the explainability of AI systems has witnessed several works on eXplainable Artificial Intelligence; however, most of the studies have focused on data-driven XAI systems applied in computational sciences. Studies addressing the increasingly pervasive goal-driven agents and robots are still missing. This paper reviews works on explainable goal-driven intelligent agents and robots, focusing on techniques for explaining and communicating agents perceptual functions (for example, senses, vision, etc.) and cognitive reasoning (for example, beliefs, desires, intention, plans, and goals) with humans in the loop. The review highlights key strategies that emphasize transparency and understandability, and continual learning for explainability. Finally, the paper presents requirements for explainability and suggests a roadmap for the possible realization of effective goal-driven explainable agents and robots

  
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Input Prioritization for Testing Neural Networks

Jan 11, 2019
Taejoon Byun, Vaibhav Sharma, Abhishek Vijayakumar, Sanjai Rayadurgam, Darren Cofer

Deep neural networks (DNNs) are increasingly being adopted for sensing and control functions in a variety of safety and mission-critical systems such as self-driving cars, autonomous air vehicles, medical diagnostics, and industrial robotics. Failures of such systems can lead to loss of life or property, which necessitates stringent verification and validation for providing high assurance. Though formal verification approaches are being investigated, testing remains the primary technique for assessing the dependability of such systems. Due to the nature of the tasks handled by DNNs, the cost of obtaining test oracle data---the expected output, a.k.a. label, for a given input---is high, which significantly impacts the amount and quality of testing that can be performed. Thus, prioritizing input data for testing DNNs in meaningful ways to reduce the cost of labeling can go a long way in increasing testing efficacy. This paper proposes using gauges of the DNN's sentiment derived from the computation performed by the model, as a means to identify inputs that are likely to reveal weaknesses. We empirically assessed the efficacy of three such sentiment measures for prioritization---confidence, uncertainty, and surprise---and compare their effectiveness in terms of their fault-revealing capability and retraining effectiveness. The results indicate that sentiment measures can effectively flag inputs that expose unacceptable DNN behavior. For MNIST models, the average percentage of inputs correctly flagged ranged from 88% to 94.8%.

  
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Predictive Collision Management for Time and Risk Dependent Path Planning

Nov 26, 2020
Carsten Hahn, Sebastian Feld, Hannes Schroter

Autonomous agents such as self-driving cars or parcel robots need to recognize and avoid possible collisions with obstacles in order to move successfully in their environment. Humans, however, have learned to predict movements intuitively and to avoid obstacles in a forward-looking way. The task of collision avoidance can be divided into a global and a local level. Regarding the global level, we propose an approach called "Predictive Collision Management Path Planning" (PCMP). At the local level, solutions for collision avoidance are used that prevent an inevitable collision. Therefore, the aim of PCMP is to avoid unnecessary local collision scenarios using predictive collision management. PCMP is a graph-based algorithm with a focus on the time dimension consisting of three parts: (1) movement prediction, (2) integration of movement prediction into a time-dependent graph, and (3) time and risk-dependent path planning. The algorithm combines the search for a shortest path with the question: is the detour worth avoiding a possible collision scenario? We evaluate the evasion behavior in different simulation scenarios and the results show that a risk-sensitive agent can avoid 47.3% of the collision scenarios while making a detour of 1.3%. A risk-averse agent avoids up to 97.3% of the collision scenarios with a detour of 39.1%. Thus, an agent's evasive behavior can be controlled actively and risk-dependent using PCMP.

* Proceedings of the 28th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (SIGSPATIAL '20), 2020, Pages 405-408 
* Extended version of the SIGSPATIAL '20 paper 
  
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Localization Uncertainty Estimation for Anchor-Free Object Detection

Jun 28, 2020
Youngwan Lee, Joong-won Hwang, Hyung-Il Kim, Kimin Yun, Joungyoul Park

Since many safety-critical systems such as surgical robots and autonomous driving cars are in unstable environments with sensor noise or incomplete data, it is desirable for object detectors to take the confidence of the localization prediction into account. Recent attempts to estimate localization uncertainty for object detection focus only anchor-based method that captures the uncertainty of different characteristics such as location (center point) and scale (width, height). Also, anchor-based methods need to adjust sensitive anchor-box settings. Therefore, we propose a new object detector called Gaussian-FCOS that estimates the localization uncertainty based on an anchor-free detector that captures the uncertainty of similar property with four directions of box offsets (left, right, top, bottom) and avoids the anchor tuning. For this purpose, we design a new loss function, uncertainty loss, to measure how uncertain the estimated object location is by modeling the uncertainty as a Gaussian distribution. Then, the detection score is calibrated through the estimated uncertainty. Experiments on challenging COCO datasets demonstrate that the proposed new loss function not only enables the network to estimate the uncertainty but produces a synergy effect with regression loss. In addition, our Gaussian-FCOS reduces false positives with the estimated localization uncertainty and finds more missing-objects, boosting both Average Precision (AP) and Recall (AR). We hope Gaussian-FCOS serve as a baseline for the reliability-required task.

  
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Foresee: Attentive Future Projections of Chaotic Road Environments with Online Training

May 30, 2018
Anil Sharma, Prabhat Kumar

In this paper, we train a recurrent neural network to learn dynamics of a chaotic road environment and to project the future of the environment on an image. Future projection can be used to anticipate an unseen environment for example, in autonomous driving. Road environment is highly dynamic and complex due to the interaction among traffic participants such as vehicles and pedestrians. Even in this complex environment, a human driver is efficacious to safely drive on chaotic roads irrespective of the number of traffic participants. The proliferation of deep learning research has shown the efficacy of neural networks in learning this human behavior. In the same direction, we investigate recurrent neural networks to understand the chaotic road environment which is shared by pedestrians, vehicles (cars, trucks, bicycles etc.), and sometimes animals as well. We propose \emph{Foresee}, a unidirectional gated recurrent units (GRUs) network with attention to project future of the environment in the form of images. We have collected several videos on Delhi roads consisting of various traffic participants, background and infrastructure differences (like 3D pedestrian crossing) at various times on various days. We train \emph{Foresee} in an unsupervised way and we use online training to project frames up to $0.5$ seconds in advance. We show that our proposed model performs better than state of the art methods (prednet and Enc. Dec. LSTM) and finally, we show that our trained model generalizes to a public dataset for future projections.

  
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A Nonlinear Constrained Optimization Framework for Comfortable and Customizable Motion Planning of Nonholonomic Mobile Robots - Part I

May 22, 2013
Shilpa Gulati, Chetan Jhurani, Benjamin Kuipers

In this series of papers, we present a motion planning framework for planning comfortable and customizable motion of nonholonomic mobile robots such as intelligent wheelchairs and autonomous cars. In this first one we present the mathematical foundation of our framework. The motion of a mobile robot that transports a human should be comfortable and customizable. We identify several properties that a trajectory must have for comfort. We model motion discomfort as a weighted cost functional and define comfortable motion planning as a nonlinear constrained optimization problem of computing trajectories that minimize this discomfort given the appropriate boundary conditions and constraints. The optimization problem is infinite-dimensional and we discretize it using conforming finite elements. We also outline a method by which different users may customize the motion to achieve personal comfort. There exists significant past work in kinodynamic motion planning, to the best of our knowledge, our work is the first comprehensive formulation of kinodynamic motion planning for a nonholonomic mobile robot as a nonlinear optimization problem that includes all of the following - a careful analysis of boundary conditions, continuity requirements on trajectory, dynamic constraints, obstacle avoidance constraints, and a robust numerical implementation. In this paper, we present the mathematical foundation of the motion planning framework and formulate the full nonlinear constrained optimization problem. We describe, in brief, the discretization method using finite elements and the process of computing initial guesses for the optimization problem. Details of the above two are presented in Part II of the series.

  
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Lidar Light Scattering Augmentation (LISA): Physics-based Simulation of Adverse Weather Conditions for 3D Object Detection

Jul 14, 2021
Velat Kilic, Deepti Hegde, Vishwanath Sindagi, A. Brinton Cooper, Mark A. Foster, Vishal M. Patel

Lidar-based object detectors are critical parts of the 3D perception pipeline in autonomous navigation systems such as self-driving cars. However, they are known to be sensitive to adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow and fog due to reduced signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and signal-to-background ratio (SBR). As a result, lidar-based object detectors trained on data captured in normal weather tend to perform poorly in such scenarios. However, collecting and labelling sufficient training data in a diverse range of adverse weather conditions is laborious and prohibitively expensive. To address this issue, we propose a physics-based approach to simulate lidar point clouds of scenes in adverse weather conditions. These augmented datasets can then be used to train lidar-based detectors to improve their all-weather reliability. Specifically, we introduce a hybrid Monte-Carlo based approach that treats (i) the effects of large particles by placing them randomly and comparing their back reflected power against the target, and (ii) attenuation effects on average through calculation of scattering efficiencies from the Mie theory and particle size distributions. Retraining networks with this augmented data improves mean average precision evaluated on real world rainy scenes and we observe greater improvement in performance with our model relative to existing models from the literature. Furthermore, we evaluate recent state-of-the-art detectors on the simulated weather conditions and present an in-depth analysis of their performance.

  
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