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2015


Dataset Suite for Benchmarking Perception in Robotics
Dataset Suite for Benchmarking Perception in Robotics

Ahmad, A., Lima, P.

In International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2015, 2015 (inproceedings)

[BibTex]

2015

[BibTex]


{FlowCap}: {2D} Human Pose from Optical Flow
FlowCap: 2D Human Pose from Optical Flow

Romero, J., Loper, M., Black, M. J.

In Pattern Recognition, Proc. 37th German Conference on Pattern Recognition (GCPR), LNCS 9358, pages: 412-423, Springer, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We estimate 2D human pose from video using only optical flow. The key insight is that dense optical flow can provide information about 2D body pose. Like range data, flow is largely invariant to appearance but unlike depth it can be directly computed from monocular video. We demonstrate that body parts can be detected from dense flow using the same random forest approach used by the Microsoft Kinect. Unlike range data, however, when people stop moving, there is no optical flow and they effectively disappear. To address this, our FlowCap method uses a Kalman filter to propagate body part positions and ve- locities over time and a regression method to predict 2D body pose from part centers. No range sensor is required and FlowCap estimates 2D human pose from monocular video sources containing human motion. Such sources include hand-held phone cameras and archival television video. We demonstrate 2D body pose estimation in a range of scenarios and show that the method works with real-time optical flow. The results suggest that optical flow shares invariances with range data that, when complemented with tracking, make it valuable for pose estimation.

video pdf preprint Project Page Project Page [BibTex]

video pdf preprint Project Page Project Page [BibTex]


Towards Optimal Robot Navigation in Urban Homes
Towards Optimal Robot Navigation in Urban Homes

Ventura, R., Ahmad, A.

In RoboCup 2014: Robot World Cup XVIII, pages: 318-331, Lecture Notes in Computer Science ; 8992, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
The work presented in this paper is motivated by the goal of dependable autonomous navigation of mobile robots. This goal is a fundamental requirement for having autonomous robots in spaces such as domestic spaces and public establishments, left unattended by technical staff. In this paper we tackle this problem by taking an optimization approach: on one hand, we use a Fast Marching Approach for path planning, resulting in optimal paths in the absence of unmapped obstacles, and on the other hand we use a Dynamic Window Approach for guidance. To the best of our knowledge, the combination of these two methods is novel. We evaluate the approach on a real mobile robot, capable of moving at high speed. The evaluation makes use of an external ground truth system. We report controlled experiments that we performed, including the presence of people moving randomly nearby the robot. In our long term experiments we report a total distance of 18 km traveled during 11 hours of movement time.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Joint 3D Object and Layout Inference from a single RGB-D Image
Joint 3D Object and Layout Inference from a single RGB-D Image

(Best Paper Award)

Geiger, A., Wang, C.

In German Conference on Pattern Recognition (GCPR), 9358, pages: 183-195, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer International Publishing, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Inferring 3D objects and the layout of indoor scenes from a single RGB-D image captured with a Kinect camera is a challenging task. Towards this goal, we propose a high-order graphical model and jointly reason about the layout, objects and superpixels in the image. In contrast to existing holistic approaches, our model leverages detailed 3D geometry using inverse graphics and explicitly enforces occlusion and visibility constraints for respecting scene properties and projective geometry. We cast the task as MAP inference in a factor graph and solve it efficiently using message passing. We evaluate our method with respect to several baselines on the challenging NYUv2 indoor dataset using 21 object categories. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed method is able to infer scenes with a large degree of clutter and occlusions.

pdf suppmat video project DOI [BibTex]

pdf suppmat video project DOI [BibTex]


3D Object Class Detection in the Wild
3D Object Class Detection in the Wild

Pepik, B., Stark, M., Gehler, P., Ritschel, T., Schiele, B.

In Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops (CVPRW), IEEE, 2015 (inproceedings)

Project Page [BibTex]

Project Page [BibTex]


Discrete Optimization for Optical Flow
Discrete Optimization for Optical Flow

Menze, M., Heipke, C., Geiger, A.

In German Conference on Pattern Recognition (GCPR), 9358, pages: 16-28, Springer International Publishing, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We propose to look at large-displacement optical flow from a discrete point of view. Motivated by the observation that sub-pixel accuracy is easily obtained given pixel-accurate optical flow, we conjecture that computing the integral part is the hardest piece of the problem. Consequently, we formulate optical flow estimation as a discrete inference problem in a conditional random field, followed by sub-pixel refinement. Naive discretization of the 2D flow space, however, is intractable due to the resulting size of the label set. In this paper, we therefore investigate three different strategies, each able to reduce computation and memory demands by several orders of magnitude. Their combination allows us to estimate large-displacement optical flow both accurately and efficiently and demonstrates the potential of discrete optimization for optical flow. We obtain state-of-the-art performance on MPI Sintel and KITTI.

pdf suppmat project DOI [BibTex]

pdf suppmat project DOI [BibTex]


Joint 3D Estimation of Vehicles and Scene Flow
Joint 3D Estimation of Vehicles and Scene Flow

Menze, M., Heipke, C., Geiger, A.

In Proc. of the ISPRS Workshop on Image Sequence Analysis (ISA), 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Three-dimensional reconstruction of dynamic scenes is an important prerequisite for applications like mobile robotics or autonomous driving. While much progress has been made in recent years, imaging conditions in natural outdoor environments are still very challenging for current reconstruction and recognition methods. In this paper, we propose a novel unified approach which reasons jointly about 3D scene flow as well as the pose, shape and motion of vehicles in the scene. Towards this goal, we incorporate a deformable CAD model into a slanted-plane conditional random field for scene flow estimation and enforce shape consistency between the rendered 3D models and the parameters of all superpixels in the image. The association of superpixels to objects is established by an index variable which implicitly enables model selection. We evaluate our approach on the challenging KITTI scene flow dataset in terms of object and scene flow estimation. Our results provide a prove of concept and demonstrate the usefulness of our method.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


A Setup for multi-UAV hardware-in-the-loop simulations
A Setup for multi-UAV hardware-in-the-loop simulations

Odelga, M., Stegagno, P., Bülthoff, H., Ahmad, A.

In pages: 204-210, IEEE, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we present a hardware in the loop simulation setup for multi-UAV systems. With our setup, we are able to command the robots simulated in Gazebo, a popular open source ROS-enabled physical simulator, using the computational units that are embedded on our quadrotor UAVs. Hence, we can test in simulation not only the correct execution of algorithms, but also the computational feasibility directly on the robot hardware. In addition, since our setup is inherently multi-robot, we can also test the communication flow among the robots. We provide two use cases to show the characteristics of our setup.

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Smooth Loops from Unconstrained Video
Smooth Loops from Unconstrained Video

Sevilla-Lara, L., Wulff, J., Sunkavalli, K., Shechtman, E.

In Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of EGSR), 34(4):99-107, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Converting unconstrained video sequences into videos that loop seamlessly is an extremely challenging problem. In this work, we take the first steps towards automating this process by focusing on an important subclass of videos containing a single dominant foreground object. Our technique makes two novel contributions over previous work: first, we propose a correspondence-based similarity metric to automatically identify a good transition point in the video where the appearance and dynamics of the foreground are most consistent. Second, we develop a technique that aligns both the foreground and background about this transition point using a combination of global camera path planning and patch-based video morphing. We demonstrate that this allows us to create natural, compelling, loopy videos from a wide range of videos collected from the internet.

pdf link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

pdf link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


Onboard robust person detection and tracking for domestic service robots
Onboard robust person detection and tracking for domestic service robots

Sanz, D., Ahmad, A., Lima, P.

In Robot 2015: Second Iberian Robotics Conference, pages: 547-559, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing ; 418, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, 2015 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Domestic assistance for the elderly and impaired people is one of the biggest upcoming challenges of our society. Consequently, in-home care through domestic service robots is identified as one of the most important application area of robotics research. Assistive tasks may range from visitor reception at the door to catering for owner's small daily necessities within a house. Since most of these tasks require the robot to interact directly with humans, a predominant robot functionality is to detect and track humans in real time: either the owner of the robot or visitors at home or both. In this article we present a robust method for such a functionality that combines depth-based segmentation and visual detection. The robustness of our method lies in its capability to not only identify partially occluded humans (e.g., with only torso visible) but also to do so in varying lighting conditions. We thoroughly validate our method through extensive experiments on real robot datasets and comparisons with the ground truth. The datasets were collected on a home-like environment set up within the context of RoboCup@Home and RoCKIn@Home competitions.

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

1999


Edges as outliers: Anisotropic smoothing using local image statistics
Edges as outliers: Anisotropic smoothing using local image statistics

Black, M. J., Sapiro, G.

In Scale-Space Theories in Computer Vision, Second Int. Conf., Scale-Space ’99, pages: 259-270, LNCS 1682, Springer, Corfu, Greece, September 1999 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Edges are viewed as statistical outliers with respect to local image gradient magnitudes. Within local image regions we compute a robust statistical measure of the gradient variation and use this in an anisotropic diffusion framework to determine a spatially varying "edge-stopping" parameter σ. We show how to determine this parameter for two edge-stopping functions described in the literature (Perona-Malik and the Tukey biweight). Smoothing of the image is related the local texture and in regions of low texture, small gradient values may be treated as edges whereas in regions of high texture, large gradient magnitudes are necessary before an edge is preserved. Intuitively these results have similarities with human perceptual phenomena such as masking and "popout". Results are shown on a variety of standard images.

pdf [BibTex]

1999

pdf [BibTex]


Probabilistic detection and tracking of motion discontinuities
Probabilistic detection and tracking of motion discontinuities

(Marr Prize, Honorable Mention)

Black, M. J., Fleet, D. J.

In Int. Conf. on Computer Vision, ICCV-99, pages: 551-558, ICCV, Corfu, Greece, September 1999 (inproceedings)

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


Artscience Sciencart
Artscience Sciencart

Black, M. J., Levy, D., PamelaZ,

In Art and Innovation: The Xerox PARC Artist-in-Residence Program, pages: 244-300, (Editors: Harris, C.), MIT-Press, 1999 (incollection)

Abstract
One of the effects of the PARC Artist In Residence (PAIR) program has been to expose the strong connections between scientists and artists. Both do what they do because they need to do it. They are often called upon to justify their work in order to be allowed to continue to do it. They need to justify it to funders, to sponsoring institutions, corporations, the government, the public. They publish papers, teach workshops, and write grants touting the educational or health benefits of what they do. All of these things are to some extent valid, but the fact of the matter is: artists and scientists do their work because they are driven to do it. They need to explore and create.

This chapter attempts to give a flavor of one multi-way "PAIRing" between performance artist PamelaZ and two PARC researchers, Michael Black and David Levy. The three of us paired up because we found each other interesting. We chose each other. While most artists in the program are paired with a single researcher Pamela jokingly calls herself a bigamist for choosing two PAIR "husbands" with different backgrounds and interests.

There are no "rules" to the PAIR program; no one told us what to do with our time. Despite this we all had a sense that we needed to produce something tangible during Pamela's year-long residency. In fact, Pamela kept extending her residency because she did not feel as though we had actually made anything concrete. The interesting thing was that all along we were having great conversations, some of which Pamela recorded. What we did not see at the time was that it was these conversations between artists and scientists that are at the heart of the PAIR program and that these conversations were changing the way we thought about our own work and the relationships between science and art.

To give these conversations their due, and to allow the reader into our PAIR interactions, we include two of our many conversations in this chapter.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


Explaining optical flow events with parameterized spatio-temporal models
Explaining optical flow events with parameterized spatio-temporal models

Black, M. J.

In IEEE Proc. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR’99, pages: 326-332, IEEE, Fort Collins, CO, 1999 (inproceedings)

pdf video [BibTex]

pdf video [BibTex]

1997


Robust anisotropic diffusion and sharpening of scalar and vector images
Robust anisotropic diffusion and sharpening of scalar and vector images

Black, M. J., Sapiro, G., Marimont, D., Heeger, D.

In Int. Conf. on Image Processing, ICIP, 1, pages: 263-266, Vol. 1, Santa Barbara, CA, October 1997 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Relations between anisotropic diffusion and robust statistics are described. We show that anisotropic diffusion can be seen as a robust estimation procedure that estimates a piecewise smooth image from a noisy input image. The "edge-stopping" function in the anisotropic diffusion equation is closely related to the error norm and influence function in the robust estimation framework. This connection leads to a new "edge-stopping" function based on Tukey's biweight robust estimator, that preserves sharper boundaries than previous formulations and improves the automatic stopping of the diffusion. The robust statistical interpretation also provides a means for detecting the boundaries (edges) between the piecewise smooth regions in the image. We extend the framework to vector-valued images and show applications to robust image sharpening.

pdf publisher site [BibTex]

1997

pdf publisher site [BibTex]


Robust anisotropic diffusion: Connections between robust statistics, line processing, and anisotropic diffusion
Robust anisotropic diffusion: Connections between robust statistics, line processing, and anisotropic diffusion

Black, M. J., Sapiro, G., Marimont, D., Heeger, D.

In Scale-Space Theory in Computer Vision, Scale-Space’97, pages: 323-326, LNCS 1252, Springer Verlag, Utrecht, the Netherlands, July 1997 (inproceedings)

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


Learning parameterized models of image motion
Learning parameterized models of image motion

Black, M. J., Yacoob, Y., Jepson, A. D., Fleet, D. J.

In IEEE Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR-97, pages: 561-567, Puerto Rico, June 1997 (inproceedings)

Abstract
A framework for learning parameterized models of optical flow from image sequences is presented. A class of motions is represented by a set of orthogonal basis flow fields that are computed from a training set using principal component analysis. Many complex image motions can be represented by a linear combination of a small number of these basis flows. The learned motion models may be used for optical flow estimation and for model-based recognition. For optical flow estimation we describe a robust, multi-resolution scheme for directly computing the parameters of the learned flow models from image derivatives. As examples we consider learning motion discontinuities, non-rigid motion of human mouths, and articulated human motion.

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


Analysis of gesture and action in technical talks for video indexing
Analysis of gesture and action in technical talks for video indexing

Ju, S. X., Black, M. J., Minneman, S., Kimber, D.

In IEEE Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pages: 595-601, CVPR-97, Puerto Rico, June 1997 (inproceedings)

Abstract
In this paper, we present an automatic system for analyzing and annotating video sequences of technical talks. Our method uses a robust motion estimation technique to detect key frames and segment the video sequence into subsequences containing a single overhead slide. The subsequences are stabilized to remove motion that occurs when the speaker adjusts their slides. Any changes remaining between frames in the stabilized sequences may be due to speaker gestures such as pointing or writing and we use active contours to automatically track these potential gestures. Given the constrained domain we define a simple ``vocabulary'' of actions which can easily be recognized based on the active contour shape and motion. The recognized actions provide a rich annotation of the sequence that can be used to access a condensed version of the talk from a web page.

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]


Modeling appearance change in image sequences
Modeling appearance change in image sequences

Black, M. J., Yacoob, Y., Fleet, D. J.

In Advances in Visual Form Analysis, pages: 11-20, Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Visual Form, Capri, Italy, May 1997 (inproceedings)

abstract [BibTex]

abstract [BibTex]


Recognizing human motion using parameterized models of optical flow
Recognizing human motion using parameterized models of optical flow

Black, M. J., Yacoob, Y., Ju, X. S.

In Motion-Based Recognition, pages: 245-269, (Editors: Mubarak Shah and Ramesh Jain,), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA, 1997 (incollection)

pdf [BibTex]

pdf [BibTex]