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# Vision and Robotics Seminar

Variational problems in geometry, fabrication, learning, and related applications lead to structured numerical optimization problems for which generic algorithms exhibit inefficient or unstable performance. Rather than viewing the particularities of these problems as barriers to scalability, in this talk we embrace them as added structure that can be leveraged to design large-scale and efficient techniques specialized to applications with geometrically structure variables. We explore this theme through the lens of case studies in surface parameterization, optimal transport, and multi-objective design

Multi-finger caging offers a robust approach to object grasping. To securely grasp an object, the fingers are first placed in caging regions surrounding a desired immobilizing grasp. This prevents the object from escaping the hand, and allows for great position uncertainty of the fingers relative to the object. The hand is then closed until the desired immobilizing grasp is reached.

While efficient computation of two-finger caging grasps for polygonal objects is well developed, the computation of three-finger caging grasps has remained a challenging open problem. We will discuss the caging of polygonal objects using three-finger hands that maintain similar triangle finger formations during the grasping process. While the configuration space of such hands is four dimensional, their contact space which represents all two and three finger contacts along the grasped object's boundary forms a two-dimensional stratified manifold.

We will present a caging graph that can be constructed in the hand's relatively simple contact space. Starting from a desired immobilizing grasp of the object by a specific triangular finger formation, the caging graph is searched for the largest formation scale value that ensures a three-finger cage about the object. This value determines the caging regions, and if the formation scale is kept below this value, any finger placement within the caging regions will guarantee a robust object grasping.

In unsupervised domain mapping, the learner is given two unmatched datasets A and B. The goal is to learn a mapping G_AB that translates a sample in A to the analog sample in B. Recent approaches have shown that when learning simultaneously both G_AB and the inverse mapping G_BA, convincing mappings are obtained. In this work, we present a method of learning G_AB without learning G_BA. This is done by learning a mapping that maintains the distance between a pair of samples. Moreover, good mappings are obtained, even by maintaining the distance between different parts of the same sample before and after mapping. We present experimental results that the new method not only allows for one sided mapping learning, but also leads to preferable numerical results over the existing circularity-based constraint.

In recent years, robots have played an active role in everyday life: medical robots assist in complex surgeries, low-cost commercial robots clean houses and fleets of robots are used to efficiently manage warehouses. A key challenge in these systems is motion planning, where we are interested in planning a collision-free path for a robot in an environment cluttered with obstacles. While the general problem has been studied for several decades now, these new applications introduce an abundance of new challenges.

In this talk I will describe some of these challenges as well as algorithms developed to address them. I will overview general challenges such as compression and graph-search algorithms in the context of motion planning. I will show why traditional Computer Science tools are ill-suited for these problems and introduce alternative algorithms that leverage the unique characteristics of robot motion planning. In addition, I will describe domains-specific challenges such as those that arise when planning for assistive robots and for humanoid robots and overview algorithms tailored for these specific domains.

Image captioning -- automatic production of text describing a visual scene -- has received a lot of attention recently. However, the objective of captioning, evaluation metrics, and the training protocol remain somewhat unsettled. The general goal seems to be for machines to describe visual signal like humans do. We pursue this goal by incorporating a discriminability loss in training caption generators. This loss is explicitly "aware" of the need for the caption to convey information, rather than appear fluent or reflect word distribution in the human captions. Specifically, the loss in our work is tied to discriminative tasks: producing a referring expression (text that allows a recipient to identify a region in the given image) or producing a discriminative caption which allows the recipient to identify an image within a set of images. In both projects, use of the dscriminability loss does not require any additional human annotations, and relies on collaborative training between the caption generator and a comprehension model, which is a proxy for a human recipient. In experiments on standard benchmarks, we show that adding discriminability objectives not only improves the discriminative quality of the generated image captions, but, perhaps surprisingly, also makes the captions better under a variety of traditional metrics.

Joint work with Ruotian Luo (TTIC), Brian Price and Scott Cohen (Adobe).

Deep Learning has led to a dramatic leap in Super-Resolution (SR) performance in the past few years. However, being supervised, these SR methods are restricted to specific training data, where the acquisition of the low-resolution (LR) images from their high-resolution (HR) counterparts is predetermined (e.g., bicubic downscaling), without any distracting artifacts (e.g., sensor noise, image compression, non-ideal PSF, etc). Real LR images, however, rarely obey these restrictions, resulting in poor SR results by SotA (State of the Art) methods. In this paper we introduce "Zero-Shot" SR, which exploits the power of Deep Learning, but does not rely on prior training. We exploit the internal recurrence of information inside a single image, and * train a small image-specific CNN at test time, on examples extracted solely from the input image itself.* As such, it can adapt itself to different settings per image. This allows to perform SR of real old photos, noisy images, biological data, and other images where the acquisition process is unknown or non-ideal. On such images, our method outperforms SotA CNN-based SR methods, as well as previous unsupervised SR methods. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first unsupervised CNN-based SR method.

We present a general approach to video understanding, inspired by semantic transfer techniques that have been successfully used for 2D image analysis. Our method considers a video to be a 1D sequence of clips, each one associated with its own semantics. The nature of these semantics -- natural language captions or other labels -- depends on the task at hand. A test video is processed by forming correspondences between its clips and the clips of reference videos with known semantics, following which, reference semantics can be transferred to the test video. We describe two matching methods, both designed to ensure that (a) reference clips appear similar to test clips and (b), taken together, the semantics of the selected reference clips is consistent and maintains temporal coherence. We use our method for video captioning on the LSMDC'16 benchmark, video summarization on the SumMe and TVSum benchmarks, Temporal Action Detection on the Thumos2014 benchmark, and sound prediction on the Greatest Hits benchmark. Our method not only surpasses the state of the art, in four out of five benchmarks, but importantly, it is the only single method we know of that was successfully applied to such a diverse range of tasks.

Digital geometry processing (DGP) is one of the core topics of computer graphics, and has been an active line of research for over two decades. On one hand, the field introduces theoretical studies in topics such as vector-field design, preservative maps and deformation theory. On the other hand, the tools and algorithms developed by this community are applicable in fields ranging from computer-aided design, to multimedia, to computational biology and medical imaging. Throughout my work, I have sought to bridge the gap between the theoretical aspects of DGP and their applications. In this talk, I will demonstrate how DGP concepts can be leveraged to facilitate real-life applications with the right adaptation. More specifically, I will portray how I have employed deformation theory to support problems in animation and augmented reality. I will share my thoughts and first taken steps to enlist DGP to the aid of machine learning, and perhaps most excitingly, I will discussion my own and the graphics community's contributions to computational fabrication field, as well as my vision for its future.

Bio: Dr. Amit H. Bermano is a postdoctoral Researcher at the Princeton Graphics Group, hosted by Professor Szymon Rusinkiewicz and Professor Thomas Funkhouser. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Disney Research Zurich in the computational materials group, led by Dr. Bernhard Thomaszewski. He conducted his doctoral studies at ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Markus Gross, in collaboration with Disney Research Zurich. His Masters and Bachelors degrees were obtained at The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology under the supervision of Prof. Craig Gotsman. His research focuses on connecting the geometry processing field with other fields in computer graphics and vision, mainly by using geometric methods to facilitate other applications. His interests in this context include computational fabrication, animation, augmented reality, medical imaging and machine learning.

Isolating the voice of a specific person while filtering out other voices or background noises is challenging when video is shot in noisy environments, using a single microphone. For example, video conferences from home or office are disturbed by other voices, TV reporting from city streets is mixed with traffic noise, etc. We propose audio-visual methods to isolate the voice of a single speaker and eliminate unrelated sounds. Face motions captured in the video are used to estimate the speaker's voice, which is applied as a filter on the input audio. This approach avoids using mixtures of sounds in the learning process, as the number of such possible mixtures is huge, and would inevitably bias the trained model.

In the first part of this talk, I will describe a few techniques to predict speech signals by a silent video of a speaking person. In the second part of the talk, I will propose a method to separate overlapping speech of several people speaking simultaneously (known as the cocktail-party problem), based on the speech predictions generated by video-to-speech system.

When dealing with a highly variable problem such as action recognition, focusing on a small area, such as the hand's region, makes the problem more manageable, and enables us to invest relatively high amount of resources needed for interpretation in a small but highly informative area of the image. In order to detect this region of interest in the image and properly analyze it, I have built a process that includes several steps, starting with a state of the art hand detector, incorporating both detection of the hand by appearance and by estimation of human body pose. The hand detector is built upon a fully convolutional neural network, detecting hands efficiently and accurately. The human body pose estimation starts with a state of the art head detector and continues with a novel approach where each location in the image votes for the position of each body keypoint, utilizing information from the whole image. Using dense, multi-target votes enables us to compute image-dependent joint keypoint probabilities by looking at consensus voting, and accurately estimates the body pose. Once the detection of the hands is complete, an additional step of segmentation of the hand and fingers is made. In this step each hand pixel in the image is labeled using a dense fully convolutional network. Finally, an additional step is made to segment and identify the held object. Understanding the hand-object interaction is an important step toward understanding the action taking place in the image. These steps enable us to perform fine interpretation of hand-object interaction images as an essential step towards understanding the human-object interaction and recognizing human activities.

Recent progress in imaging technologies leads to a continuous growth in biomedical data, which can provide better insight into important clinical and biological questions. Advanced machine learning techniques, such as artificial neural networks are brought to bear on addressing fundamental medical image computing challenges such as segmentation, classification and reconstruction, required for meaningful analysis of the data. Nevertheless, the main bottleneck, which is the lack of annotated examples or 'ground truth' to be used for training, still remains.

In my talk, I will give a brief overview on some biomedical image analysis problems we aim to address, and suggest how prior information about the problem at hand can be utilized to compensate for insufficient or even the absence of ground-truth data. I will then present a framework based on deep neural networks for the denoising of Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) sequences of the brain. DCE-MRI is an imaging protocol where MRI scans are acquired repetitively throughout the injection of a contrast agent, that is mainly used for quantitative assessment of blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability. BBB dysfunctionality is associated with numerous brain pathologies including stroke, tumor, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy. Existing techniques for DCE-MRI analysis are error-prone as the dynamic scans are subject to non-white, spatially-dependent and anisotropic noise. To address DCE-MRI denoising challenges we use an ensemble of expert DNNs constructed as deep autoencoders, where each is trained on a specific subset of the input space to accommodate different noise characteristics and dynamic patterns. Since clean DCE-MRI sequences (ground truth) for training are not available, we present a sampling scheme, for generating realistic training sets with nonlinear dynamics that faithfully model clean DCE-MRI data and accounts for spatial similarities. The proposed approach has been successfully applied to full and even temporally down-sampled DCE-MRI sequences, from two different databases, of stroke and brain tumor patients, and is shown to favorably compare to state-of-the-art denoising methods.

The recent success of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for image processing tasks is inspiring research efforts attempting to achieve similar success for geometric tasks. One of the main challenges in applying CNNs to surfaces is defining a natural convolution operator on surfaces. In this paper we present a method for applying deep learning to sphere-type shapes using a global seamless parameterization to a planar flat-torus, for which the convolution operator is well defined. As a result, the standard deep learning framework can be readily applied for learning semantic, high-level properties of the shape. An indication of our success in bridging the gap between images and surfaces is the fact that our algorithm succeeds in learning semantic information from an input of raw low-dimensional feature vectors.

We demonstrate the usefulness of our approach by presenting two applications: human body segmentation, and automatic landmark detection on anatomical surfaces. We show that our algorithm compares favorably with competing geometric deep-learning algorithms for segmentation tasks, and is able to produce meaningful correspondences on anatomical surfaces where hand-crafted features are bound to fail.

Joint work with: Meirav Galun, Noam Aigerman, Miri Trope, Nadav Dym, Ersin Yumer, Vladimir G. Kim and Yaron Lipman.

Image denoising is the most fundamental problem in image enhancement, and it is largely solved: It has reached impressive heights in performance and quality -- almost as good as it can ever get. But interestingly, it turns out that we can solve many other problems using the image denoising "engine". I will describe the Regularization by Denoising (RED) framework: using the denoising engine in defining the regularization of any inverse problem. The idea is to define an explicit image-adaptive regularization functional directly using a high performance denoiser. Surprisingly, the resulting regularizer is guaranteed to be convex, and the overall objective functional is explicit, clear and well-defined. With complete flexibility to choose the iterative optimization procedure for minimizing this functional, RED is capable of incorporating any image denoising algorithm as a regularizer, treat general inverse problems very effectively, and is guaranteed to converge to the globally optimal result.

* Joint work with Peyman Milanfar (Google Research) and Yaniv Romano (EE-Technion).

We present a novel approach to template matching that is efficient, can handle partial occlusions, and is equipped with provable performance guarantees. A key component of the method is a reduction that transforms the problem of searching a nearest neighbor among N high-dimensional vectors, to searching neighbors among two sets of order sqrt(N) vectors, which can be done efficiently using range search techniques. This allows for a quadratic improvement in search complexity, that makes the method scalable when large search spaces are involved.

For handling partial occlusions, we develop a hashing scheme based on consensus set maximization within the range search component. The resulting scheme can be seen as a randomized hypothesize-and-test algorithm, that comes with guarantees regarding the number of iterations required for obtaining an optimal solution with high probability.

The predicted matching rates are validated empirically and the proposed algorithm shows a significant improvement over the state-of-the-art in both speed and robustness to occlusions.

Joint work with Stefano Soatto.

We study the ecological use of analogies in AI. Specifically, we address the problem of transferring a sample in one domain to an analog sample in another domain. Given two related domains, S and T, we would like to learn a generative function G that maps an input sample from S to the domain T, such that the output of a given representation function f, which accepts inputs in either domains, would remain unchanged. Other than f, the training data is unsupervised and consist of a set of samples from each domain, without any mapping between them. The Domain Transfer Network (DTN) we present employs a compound loss function that includes a multiclass GAN loss, an f preserving component, and a regularizing component that encourages G to map samples from T to themselves. We apply our method to visual domains including digits and face images and demonstrate its ability to generate convincing novel images of previously unseen entities, while preserving their identity.

Joint work with Yaniv Taigman and Adam Polyak

Image processing algorithms often involve a data fidelity penalty, which encourages the solution to comply with the input data. Existing fidelity measures (including perceptual ones) are very sensitive to slight misalignments in the locations and shapes of objects. This is in sharp contrast to the human visual system, which is typically indifferent to such variations. In this work, we propose a new error measure, which is insensitive to small smooth deformations and is very simple to incorporate into existing algorithms. We demonstrate our approach in lossy image compression. As we show, optimal encoding under our criterion boils down to determining how to best deform the input image so as to make it "more compressible". Surprisingly, it turns out that very minor deformations (almost imperceptible in some cases) suffice to make a huge visual difference in methods like JPEG and JPEG2000. Thus, by slightly sacrificing geometric integrity, we gain a significant improvement in preservation of visual information.

We also show how our approach can be used to visualize image priors. This is done by determining how images should be deformed so as to best conform to any given image model. By doing so, we highlight the elementary geometric structures to which the prior resonates. Using this method, we reveal interesting behaviors of popular priors, which were not noticed in the past.

Finally, we illustrate how deforming images to possess desired properties can be used for image "idealization" and for detecting deviations from perfect regularity.

Joint work with Tamar Rott Shaham, Tali Dekel, Michal Irani, and Bill Freeman.

Within the wide field of sparse approximation, convolutional sparse coding (CSC) has gained increasing attention in recent years. This model assumes a structured-dictionary built as a union of banded Circulant matrices. Most attention has been devoted to the practical side of CSC, proposing efficient algorithms for the pursuit problem, and identifying applications that benefit from this model. Interestingly, a systematic theoretical understanding of CSC seems to have been left aside, with the assumption that the existing classical results are sufficient.

In this talk we start by presenting a novel analysis of the CSC model and its associated pursuit. Our study is based on the observation that while being global, this model can be characterized and analyzed locally. We show that uniqueness of the representation, its stability with respect to noise, and successful greedy or convex recovery are all guaranteed assuming that the underlying representation is locally sparse. These new results are much stronger and informative, compared to those obtained by deploying the classical sparse theory.

Armed with these new insights, we proceed by proposing a multi-layer extension of this model, ML-CSC, in which signals are assumed to emerge from a cascade of CSC layers. This, in turn, is shown to be tightly connected to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), so much so that the forward-pass of the CNN is in fact the Thresholding pursuit serving the ML-CSC model. This connection brings a fresh view to CNN, as we are able to attribute to this architecture theoretical claims such as uniqueness of the representations throughout the network, and their stable estimation, all guaranteed under simple local sparsity conditions. Lastly, identifying the weaknesses in the above scheme, we propose an alternative to the forward-pass algorithm, which is both tightly connected to deconvolutional and recurrent neural networks, and has better theoretical guarantees.

One of the most exciting possibilities opened by deep neural networks is end-to-end learning: the ability to learn tasks without the need for feature engineering or breaking down into sub-tasks. This talk will present three cases illustrating how end-to-end learning can operate in machine perception across the senses (Hearing, Vision) and even for the entire perception-cognition-action cycle.

The talk begins with speech recognition, showing how acoustic models can be learned end-to-end. This approach skips the feature extraction pipeline, carefully designed for speech recognition over decades.

Proceeding to vision, a novel application is described: identification of photographers of wearable video cameras. Such video was previously considered anonymous as it does not show the photographer.

The talk concludes by presenting a new task, encompassing the full perception-cognition-action cycle: visual learning of arithmetic operations using only pictures of numbers. This is done without using or learning the notions of numbers, digits, and operators.

The talk is based on the following papers:

Speech Acoustic Modeling From Raw Multichannel Waveforms, Y. Hoshen, R.J. Weiss, and K.W. Wilson, ICASSP'15

An Egocentric Look at Video Photographer Identity, Y. Hoshen, S. Peleg, CVPR'16

Visual Learning of Arithmetic Operations, Y. Hoshen, S. Peleg, AAAI'16

Computer science and optics are usually studied separately -- separate people, in separate departments, meet at separate conferences. This is changing. The exciting promise of technologies like virtual reality and self-driving cars demand solutions that draw from the best aspects of computer vision, computer graphics, and optics. Previously, it has proved difficult to bridge these communities. For instance, the laboratory setups in optics are often designed to image millimeter-size scenes in a vibration-free darkroom.

This talk is centered around time of flight imaging, a growing area of research in computational photography. A time of flight camera works by emitting amplitude modulated (AM) light and performing correlations on the reflected light. The frequency of AM is in the radio frequency range (like a Doppler radar system), but the carrier signal is optical, overcoming diffraction limited challenges of full RF systems while providing optical contrast. The obvious use of such cameras is to acquire 3D geometry. By spatially, temporally and spectrally coding light transport we show that it may be possible to go "beyond depth", demonstrating new forms of imaging like photography through scattering media, fast relighting of photographs, real-time tracking of occluded objects in the scene (like an object around a corner), and even the potential to distinguish between biological molecules using fluorescence. We discuss the broader impact of this design paradigm on the future of 3D depth sensors, interferometers, computational photography, medical imaging and many other applications.

This Thursday we will have two SIGGRAPH rehearsal talks in the Vision Seminar, one by Netalee Efrat and one by Meirav Galun. Abstracts are below. Each talk will be about 15 minutes (with NO interruptions), followed by 10 minutes feedback.

**Talk1 (Netalee Efrat): Cinema 3D: Large scale automultiscopic display **

While 3D movies are gaining popularity, viewers in a 3D cinema still need to wear cumbersome glasses in order to enjoy them. Automultiscopic displays provide a better alternative to the display of 3D content, as they present multiple angular images of the same scene without the need for special eyewear. However, automultiscopic displays cannot be directly implemented in a wide cinema setting due to variants of two main problems: (i) The range of angles at which the screen is observed in a large cinema is usually very wide, and there is an unavoidable tradeoff between the range of angular images supported by the display and its spatial or angular resolutions. (ii) Parallax is usually observed only when a viewer is positioned at a limited range of distances from the screen. This work proposes a new display concept, which supports automultiscopic content in a wide cinema setting. It builds on the typical structure of cinemas, such as the fixed seat positions and the fact that different rows are located on a slope at different heights. Rather than attempting to display many angular images spanning the full range of viewing angles in a wide cinema, our design only displays the narrow angular range observed within the limited width of a single seat. The same narrow range content is then replicated to all rows and seats in the cinema. To achieve this, it uses an optical construction based on two sets of parallax barriers, or lenslets, placed in front of a standard screen. This paper derives the geometry of such a display, analyzes its limitations, and demonstrates a proof-of-concept prototype.

*Joint work with Piotr Didyk, Mike Foshey, Wojciech Matusik, Anat Levin

**Talk 2 (Meirav Galun): Accelerated Quadratic Proxy for Geometric Optimization **

We present the Accelerated Quadratic Proxy (AQP) - a simple first order algorithm for the optimization of geometric energies defined over triangular and tetrahedral meshes. The main pitfall encountered in the optimization of geometric energies is slow convergence. We observe that this slowness is in large part due to a Laplacian-like term existing in these energies. Consequently, we suggest to exploit the underlined structure of the energy and to locally use a quadratic polynomial proxy, whose Hessian is taken to be the Laplacian. This improves stability and convergence, but more importantly allows incorporating acceleration in an almost universal way, that is independent of mesh size and of the specific energy considered. Experiments with AQP show it is rather insensitive to mesh resolution and requires a nearly constant number of iterations to converge; this is in strong contrast to other popular optimization techniques used today such as Accelerated Gradient Descent and Quasi-Newton methods, e.g., L-BFGS. We have tested AQP for mesh deformation in 2D and 3D as well as for surface parameterization, and found it to provide a considerable speedup over common baseline techniques.

*Joint work with Shahar Kovalsky and Yaron Lipman

Children may learn about the world by pushing, banging, and manipulating things, watching and listening as materials make their distinctive sounds-- dirt makes a thud; ceramic makes a clink. These sounds reveal physical properties of the objects, as well as the force and motion of the physical interaction.

We've explored a toy version of that learning-through-interaction by recording audio and video while we hit many things with a drumstick. We developed an algorithm the predict sounds from silent videos of the drumstick interactions. The algorithm uses a recurrent neural network to predict sound features from videos and then produces a waveform from these features with an example-based synthesis procedure. We demonstrate that the sounds generated by our model are realistic enough to fool participants in a "real or fake" psychophysical experiment, and that the task of predicting sounds allows our system to learn about material properties in the scene.

Joint work with:

Andrew Owens, Phillip Isola, Josh McDermott, Antonio Torralba, Edward H. Adelson

http://arxiv.org/abs/1512.08512

While co-addition and subtraction of astronomical images stand at the heart of observational astronomy, the existing solutions for them lack rigorous argumentation, are not achieving maximal sensitivity and are often slow. Moreover, there is no widespread agreement on how they should be done, and often different methods are used for different scientific applications. I am going to present rigorous solutions to these problems, deriving them from the most basic statistical principles. These solutions are proved optimal, under well defined and practically acceptable assumptions, and in many cases improve substantially the performance of the most basic operations in astronomy.

For coaddition, we present a coadd image that is:

a) sufficient for any further statistical decision or measurement on the underlying constant sky, making the entire data set redundant.

b) improves both survey speed (by 5-20%) and effective spatial resolution of past and future astronomical surveys.

c) improves substantially imaging through turbulence applications.

d) much faster than many of the currently used coaddition solutions.

For subtraction, we present a subtraction image that is:

a) optimal for transient detection under the assumption of spatially uniform noise.

b) sufficient for any further statistical decision on the differences between the images, including the identification of cosmic rays and other image artifacts.

c) Free of subtraction artifacts, allowing (for the first time) robust transient identification in real time, opening new avenues for scientific exploration.

d) orders of magnitude faster than past subtraction methods.

A common approach to face recognition relies on using deep learning for extracting a signature. All leading work on the subject use stupendous amounts of processing power and data. In this work we present a method for efficient and compact learning of metric embedding. The core idea allows a more accurate estimation of the global gradient and hence fast and robust convergence. In order to avoid the need for huge amounts of data we include an explicit alignment phase into the network, hence greatly reducing the number of parameters. These insights allow us to efficiently train a compact deep learning model for face recognition in only 12 hours on a single GPU, which can then fit a mobile device.

Joint work with: Oren Tadmor, Tal Rosenwein, Shai Shalev-Schwartz, Amnon Shashua

Dynamic events such as family gatherings, concerts or sports events are often photographed by a group of people. The set of still images obtained this way is rich in dynamic content. We consider the question of whether such a set of still images, rather than traditional video sequences, can be used for analyzing the dynamic content of the scene. This talk will describe several instances of this problem, their solutions and directions for future studies.

In particular, we will present a method to extend epipolar geometry to predict location of a moving feature in CrowdCam images. The method assumes that the temporal order of the set of images, namely photo-sequencing, is given. We will briefly describe our method to compute photo-sequencing using geometric considerations and rank aggregation. We will also present a method for identifying the moving regions in a scene, which is a basic component in dynamic scene analysis. Finally, we will consider a new vision of developing collaborative CrowdCam, and a first step toward this goal.

This talk will be based on joint works with Tali Dekel, Adi Dafni, Mor Dar, Lior Talked, Ilan Shimshoni, and Shai Avidan.

Stochastic analysis of real-world signals consists of 3 main parts: mathematical representation; probabilistic modeling; statistical inference. For it to be effective, we need mathematically-principled and practical computational tools that take into consideration not only each of these components by itself but also their interplay. This is especially true for a large class of computer-vision and machine-learning problems that involve certain mathematical structures; the latter may be a property of the data or encoded in the representation/model to ensure mathematically-desired properties and computational tractability. For concreteness, this talk will center on structures that are geometric, hierarchical, or topological.

Structures present challenges. For example, on nonlinear spaces, most statistical tools are not directly applicable, and, moreover, computations can be expensive. As another example, in mixture models, topological constraints break statistical independence. Once we overcome the difficulties, however, structures offer many benefits. For example, respecting and exploiting the structure of Riemannian manifolds and/or Lie groups yield better probabilistic models that also support consistent synthesis. The latter is crucial for the employment of analysis-by-synthesis inference methods used within, e.g., a generative Bayesian framework. Likewise, imposing a certain structure on velocity fields yields highly-expressive diffeomorphisms that are also simple and computationally tractable; particularly, this facilitates MCMC inference, traditionally viewed as too expensive in this context.

Time permitting, throughout the talk I will also briefly touch upon related applications such as statistical shape models, transfer learning on manifolds, image warping/registration, time warping, superpixels, 3D-scene analysis, nonparametric Bayesian clustering of spherical data, multi-metric learning, and new machine-learning applications of diffeomorphisms. Lastly, we also applied the (largely model-based) ideas above to propose the first learned data augmentation scheme; as it turns out, when compared with the state-of-the-art schemes, this improves the performance of classifiers of the deep-net variety.

I will describe recent work on building and using rich representations aimed at automatic analysis of visual scenes. In particular, I will describe methods for semantic segmentation (labeling regions of an image according to the category it belongs to), and on semantic boundary detection (recovering accurate boundaries of semantically meaningful regions, such as those corresponding to objects). We focus on feed-forward architectures for these tasks, leveraging recent advances in the art of training deep neural networks. Our approach aims to shift the burden of inducing desirable constraints from explicit structure in the model to implicit structure inherent in computing richer, context-aware representations. I will describe experiments on standard benchmark data sets that demonstrate the success of this approach.

Joint work with Mohammadreza Mostajabi, Payman Yadollahpour, and Harry Yang.

Many sequence prediction tasks---such as automatic speech recognition and video analysis---benefit from long-range temporal features. One way of utilizing long-range information is through segmental (semi-Markov) models such as segmental conditional random fields. Such models have had some success, but have been constrained by the computational needs of considering all possible segmentations. We have developed new segmental models with rich features based on neural segment embeddings, trained with discriminative large-margin criteria, that are efficient enough for first-pass decoding. In our initial work with these models, we have found that they can outperform frame-based HMM/deep network baselines on two disparate tasks, phonetic recognition and sign language recognition from video. I will present the models and their results on these tasks, as well as (time permitting) related recent work on neural segmental acoustic word embeddings.

This is joint work with Hao Tang, Weiran Wang, Herman Kamper, Taehwan Kim, and Kevin Gimpel

It has long been conjectured that hypothesis spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical architectures than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence, formal arguments to date are limited and do not capture the kind of networks used in practice. Using tensor factorization, we derive a universal hypothesis space implemented by an arithmetic circuit over functions applied to local data structures (e.g. image patches). The resulting networks first pass the input through a representation layer, and then proceed with a sequence of layers comprising sum followed by product-pooling, where sum corresponds to the widely used convolution operator. The hierarchical structure of networks is born from factorizations of tensors based on the linear weights of the arithmetic circuits. We show that a shallow network corresponds to a rank-1 decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to a Hierarchical Tucker (HT) decomposition. Log-space computation for numerical stability transforms the networks into SimNets.

In its basic form, our main theoretical result shows that the set of polynomially sized rank-1 decomposable tensors has measure zero in the parameter space of polynomially sized HT decomposable tensors. In deep learning terminology, this amounts to saying that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require an exponential size if one wishes to implement (or approximate) them with a shallow network. Our construction and theory shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community, and in that sense bear a paradigmatic contribution as well.

Joint work with Or Sharir and Amnon Shashua.

In view of the recent huge interest in image classification and object recognition problems and the spectacular success of deep learning and random forests in solving these tasks, it seems astonishing that much more modest efforts are being invested into related, and often more difficult, problems of image and multimodal content-based retrieval, and, more generally, similarity assessment in large-scale databases. These problems, arising as primitives in many computer vision tasks, are becoming increasingly important in the era of exponentially increasing information. Semantic and similarity-preserving hashing methods have recently received considerable attention to address such a need, in part due to their significant memory and computational advantage over other representations.

In this talk, I will overview some of my recent attempts to construct efficient semantic hashing schemes based on deep neural networks and random forests.

Based on joint works with Qiang Qiu, Guillermo Sapiro, Michael Bronstein, and Jonathan Masci.

What is it that enables learning with multi-layer networks? What causes the network to generalize well? What makes it possible to optimize the error, despite the problem being hard in the worst case? In this talk I will attempt to address these questions and relate between them, highlighting the important role of optimization in deep learning. I will then use the insight to suggest studying novel optimization methods, and will present Path-SGD, a novel optimization approach for multi-layer RELU networks that yields better optimization and better generalization.

Joint work with Behnam Neyshabur, Ryota Tomioka and Russ Salakhutdinov.

Conventional cameras record all light falling onto their sensor regardless of the path that light followed to get there. In this talk I will present an emerging family of video cameras that can be programmed to record just a fraction of the light coming from a controllable source, based on the actual 3D path followed. Live video from these cameras offers a very unconventional view of our everyday world in which refraction and scattering can be selectively blocked or enhanced, visual structures too subtle to notice with the naked eye can become apparent, and object appearance can depend on depth.

I will discuss the unique optical properties and power efficiency of these "transport-aware" cameras, as well as their use for 3D shape acquisition, robust time-of-flight imaging, material analysis, and scene understanding. Last but not least, I will discuss their potential to become our field's "outdoor Kinect" sensor---able to operate robustly even in direct sunlight with very low power.

Kyros Kutulakos is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He received his PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994 and his BS degree from the University of Crete in 1988, both in Computer Science. In addition to the University of Toronto, he has held appointments at the University of Rochester (1995-2001) and Microsoft Research Asia (2004-05 and 2011-12). He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, an Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Award, a Marr Prize in 1999, a Marr Prize Honorable Mention in 2005, and three other paper awards (CVPR 1994, ECCV 2006, CVPR 2014). He also served as Program Co-Chair of CVPR 2003, ICCP 2010 and ICCV 2013.

Many scientific and engineering problems are challenged by the fact they involve functions of a very large number of variables. Such problems arise naturally in signal recovery, image processing, learning theory, etc. In addition to the numerical difficulties due to the so-called curse of dimensionality, the resulting optimization problems are often nonsmooth and nonconvex.

We shall survey some of our recent results, illustrating how these difficulties may be handled in the context of well-structured optimization models, highlighting the ways in which problem structures and data information can be beneficially exploited to devise and analyze simple and efficient algorithms.

The goal in this work is to produce ‘full interpretation’ for object images, namely to identify and localize all semantic features and parts that are recognized by human observers. We develop a novel approach and tools to study this challenging task, by dividing the interpretation of the complete object to interpretation of so-called 'minimal recognizable configurations’, namely severely reduced but recognizable local regions, that are minimal in the sense that any further reduction would turn them unrecognizable. We show that for the task of full interpretation, such minimal images have unique properties, which make them particularly useful.

For modeling interpretation, we identify primitive components and relations that play a useful role in the interpretation of minimal images by humans, and incorporate them in a structured prediction algorithm. The structure elements can be point, contour, or region primitives, while relations between them range from standard unary and binary potentials based on relative location, to more complex and high dimensional relations. We show experimental results and match them to human performance. We discuss implications of ‘full’ interpretation for difficult visual tasks, such as recognizing human activities or interactions.

The field of Machine Learning has been making huge strides recently. Problems such as visual recognition and classification, that were believed to be open only a few years ago, now seem solvable. The best performers use Artificial Neural Networks, in their reincarnation as "Deep Learning", where huge networks are trained over lots of data. One bottleneck in current schemes is the huge amount of required computation during both training and testing. This limits the usability of these methods when power is an issue, such as with wearable devices.

As a step towards deeper understanding of deep learning mechanisms, I will show how correct conditioning of the back-propagation training iterations results in a much improved convergence. This reduces training time, providing better results. It also allows us to train smaller models, that are harder to optimize.

In this talk I will also discuss the challenges - and describe some of the solutions - in applying Machine Learning on a mobile device that can fit your pocket. The OrCam is a wearable camera that speaks to you. It reads anything, learns and recognizes faces, and much more. It is ready to help through the day, all with a simple pointing gesture. It is already improving the lives of many blind and visually impaired people.

Many types of multi-dimensional data have a natural division into two "views", such as audio and video or images and text.

Multi-view learning includes a variety of techniques that use multiple views

of data to learn improved models for each of the views. The views can be multiple measurement modalities (like the examples above) but also can be different types of information extracted from the same source (words + context, document text + links) or any division of the data dimensions into subsets satisfying certain learning assumptions. Theoretical and empirical results show that multi-view techniques can improve over single-view ones in certain settings. In many cases multiple views help by reducing noise in some sense (what is noise in one view is not in the other). In this talk, I will focus on multi-view learning of representations (features), especially using canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and related techniques. I will give a tutorial overview of CCA and its relationship with other techniques such as partial least squares (PLS) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA). I will also present extensions developed by ourselves and others, such as kernel, deep, and generalized

("many-view") CCA. Finally, I will give recent results on speech and language tasks, and demonstrate our publicly available code.

Based on joint work with Raman Arora, Weiran Wang, Jeff Bilmes, Galen Andrew, and others.

Small image patches tend to recur at multiple scales within high-quality natural images.

This fractal-like behavior has been used in the past for various tasks including image compression, super-resolution and denoising. In this talk, I will show that this phenomenon can also be harnessed for "blind deblurring" and for "blind super-resolution", that is, for removing blur or increasing resolution without a-priori knowledge of the associated blur kernel. It turns out that the cross-scale patch recurrence property is strong only in images taken under ideal imaging conditions, but significantly diminishes when the imaging conditions deviate from ideal ones. Therefore, the deviations from ideal patch recurrence actually provide information on the unknown camera blur kernel.

More specifically, we show that the correct blur kernel is the one which maximizes the similarity between patches across scales of the image. Extensive experiments indicate that our approach leads to state of the art results, both in deblurring and in super-resolution.

Joint work with Michal Irani.

We present a practical method for establishing dense correspondences between two images with similar content, but possibly different 3D scenes. One of the challenges in designing such a system is the local scale differences of objects appearing in the two images. Previous methods often considered only small subsets of image pixels; matching only pixels for which stable scales may be reliably estimated. More recently, others have considered dense correspondences, but with substantial costs associated with generating, storing and matching scale invariant descriptors.

Our work here is motivated by the observation that pixels in the image have contexts -- the pixels around them -- which may be exploited in order to estimate local scales reliably and repeatably. In practice, we demonstrate that scales estimated in sparse interest points may be propagated to neighboring pixels where this information cannot be reliably determined. Doing so allows scale invariant descriptors to be extracted anywhere in the image, not just in detected interest points. As a consequence, accurate dense correspondences are obtained even between very different images, with little computational costs beyond those required by existing methods.

This is joint work with Moria Tau from the Open University of Israel

On my last visit in 2012, I posed a number of open questions, including how to achieve joint segmentation and tracking, and how to obtain uncertainty estimates for a segmentation.

Some of these questions we have been able to solve [Schiegg ICCV 2013, Schiegg Bioinformatics 2014, Fiaschi CVPR 2014] and I would like to report on this progress.

Given that I will be at Weizmann for another four months, I will also pose new open questions on image processing problems that require a combination of combinatorial optimization and (structured) learning, as an invitation to work together.

The astronomical community's largest technical challenge is coping with the earths atmosphere. In this talk, I will present the popular methods for performing scientific measurement from the ground, coping with the time dependant distortions generated by the earths atmosphere. We will talk about the following topics:

1) Scientific motivation for eliminating the effect of the atmosphere.

2) The statistics of turbulence - the basis for all methods is in deep understanding of the atmospheric turbulence

3) wave-front sensing + adaptive optics - A way to correct it in hardware.

4) lucky imaging + speckle Interferometry - Ways to computationally extract scientifically valuable data despite the turbulent atmosphere.