Visible to the public Biblio

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Conference Paper
J. Zhao, L. Itti.  2017.  Improved Deep Learning of Object Category using Pose Information. Proceedings of the IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), Santa Rosa, CA. :1-10.

Despite significant recent progress, the best available computer vision algorithms still lag far behind human capabilities, even for recognizing individual discrete objects under various poses, illuminations, and backgrounds. Here we present a new approach to using object pose information to improve deep network learning. While existing large-scale datasets, e.g. ImageNet, do not have pose information, we leverage the newly published turntable dataset, iLab-20M, which has 22M images of 704 object instances shot under different lightings, camera viewpoints and turntable rotations, to do more controlled object recognition experiments. We introduce a new convolutional neural network architecture, what/where CNN (2W-CNN), built on a linear-chain feedforward CNN (e.g., AlexNet), augmented by hierarchical layers regularized by object poses. Pose information is only used as feedback signal during training, in addition to category information, but is not needed during test. To validate the approach, we train both 2W-CNN and AlexNet using a fraction of the dataset, and 2W-CNN achieves 6 percent performance improvement in category prediction. We show mathematically that 2W-CNN has inherent advantages over AlexNet under the stochastic gradient descent (SGD) optimization procedure. Furthermore, we fine-tune object recognition on ImageNet by using the pretrained 2W-CNN and AlexNet features on iLab-20M, results show significant improvement compared with training AlexNet from scratch. Moreover, fine-tuning 2W-CNN features performs even better than fine-tuning the pretrained AlexNet features. These results show that pretrained features on iLab-20M generalize well to natural image datasets, and 2W-CNN learns better features for object recognition than AlexNet.

J. Zhao, C. K. Chang, L. Itti.  2017.  Learning to Recognize Objects by Retaining other Factors of Variation. Proceedings of the IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), Santa Rosa, CA. :1-9.

Most ConvNets formulate object recognition from natural images as a single task classification problem, and attempt to learn features useful for object categories, but invariant to other factors of variation such as pose and illumination. They do not explicitly learn these other factors; instead, they usually discard them by pooling and normalization. Here, we take the opposite approach: we train ConvNets for object recognition by retaining other factors (pose in our case) and learning them jointly with object category. We design a new multi-task leaning (MTL) ConvNet, named disentangling CNN (disCNN), which explicitly enforces the disentangled representations of object identity and pose, and is trained to predict object categories and pose transformations. disCNN achieves significantly better object recognition accuracies than the baseline CNN trained solely to predict object categories on the iLab-20M dataset, a large-scale turntable dataset with detailed pose and lighting information. We further show that the pretrained features on iLab-20M generalize to both Washington RGB-D and ImageNet datasets, and the pretrained disCNN features are significantly better than the pretrained baseline CNN features for fine-tuning on ImageNet.

Journal Article
W. S. Grant, J. Tanner, L. Itti.  2017.  Biologically plausible learning in neural networks with modulatory feedback. Neural Networks. 88:32-48.

Although Hebbian learning has long been a key component in understanding neural plasticity, it has not yet been successful in modeling modulatory feedback connections, which make up a significant portion of connections in the brain. We develop a new learning rule designed around the complications of learning modulatory feedback and composed of three simple concepts grounded in physiologically plausible evidence. Using border ownership as a prototypical example, we show that a Hebbian learning rule fails to properly learn modulatory connections, while our proposed rule correctly learns a stimulus-driven model. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first time a border ownership network has been learned. Additionally, we show that the rule can be used as a drop-in replacement for a Hebbian learning rule to learn a biologically consistent model of orientation selectivity, a network which lacks any modulatory connections. Our results predict that the mechanisms we use are integral for learning modulatory connections in the brain and furthermore that modulatory connections have a strong dependence on inhibition.

B. J. White, D. J. Berg, J. Y. Kan, R. A. Marino, L. Itti, D. P. Munoz.  2017.  Superior colliculus neurons encode a visual saliency map during free viewing of natural dynamic video. Nature Communications. 8:1-9.

Models of visual attention postulate the existence of a saliency map whose function is to guide attention and gaze to the most conspicuous regions in a visual scene. Although cortical representations of saliency have been reported, there is mounting evidence for a subcortical saliency mechanism, which pre-dates the evolution of neocortex. Here, we conduct a strong test of the saliency hypothesis by comparing the output of a well-established computational saliency model with the activation of neurons in the primate superior colliculus (SC), a midbrain structure associated with attention and gaze, while monkeys watched video of natural scenes. We find that the activity of SC superficial visual-layer neurons (SCs), specifically, is well-predicted by the model. This saliency representation is unlikely to be inherited from fronto-parietal cortices, which do not project to SCs, but may be computed in SCs and relayed to other areas via tectothalamic pathways.