Computer Vision Seminar
Perceptual Annotation: Measuring Human Vision to Improve Computer Vision
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The brain has the remarkable ability to rapidly and
accurately extract meaning from a flood of complex and ever-changing
sensory information. While great progress has been made in the last
several decades in the development of computer algorithms that attempt
to recreate these abilities in machines, even our most powerful
algorithms still lag far behind the performance of biological systems.
This performance gap has inspired the CVRL group at Notre Dame to
pursue interdisciplinary work at the intersection of neuroscience and
computer science, aimed at uncovering the algorithmic underpinnings of
sensory processing in the brain, with the dual goals of advancing
understanding in biology and building more robust and powerful
artificial information processing systems.This talk will highlight
some of our recent progress in these areas.
Most importantly, the core of our overarching approach is the idea
that data from biological visual systems experiments can be
incorporated directly into the process of building
biologically-inspired computer vision systems, both at the level of
model selection, and at the level of machine learning. The key insight
is that while most computer vision and machine learning approaches
focus solely on optimizing performance (e.g., face recognition
performance), we can also incorporate biological knowledge as a
powerful regularizer on the space of possible solutions. We have
demonstrated an initial proof of concept for this approach,
incorporating detailed psychometric data from large-scale human
psychophysics experiments into a kernel machine formulation in order
to produce state-of-the-art performance in real-world face detection
and social attribute assignment problems.
For many problems in computer vision, human learners are considerably
better than machines. Humans possess highly accurate internal
recognition and learning mechanisms that are not yet understood, and
they frequently have access to more extensive training data through a
lifetime of unbiased experience with the visual world. In this talk,
an advanced online psychometric testing platform will be described
that makes new kinds of annotation data available for learning.
Subsequently, a new technique for harnessing these new kinds of
information – "perceptual annotations" – for support vector machines
will be introduced. A key intuition for this approach is that while it
may remain infeasible to dramatically increase the amount of data and
high-quality labels available for the training of a given system,
measuring the exemplar-by-exemplar difficulty and pattern of errors of
human annotators can provide important information for regularizing
the solution of the system at hand.
Walter J. Scheirer, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department
of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame.
Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, with
affiliations in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dept.
of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Center for Brain Science, and
the director of research & development at Securics, Inc., an early
stage company producing innovative computer vision-based solutions. He
received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado and his M.S. and
B.A. degrees from Lehigh University. Dr. Scheirer has extensive
experience in the areas of computer vision and human biometrics, with
an emphasis on advanced learning techniques. His overarching research
interest is the fundamental problem of recognition, including the
representations and algorithms supporting solutions to it.