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Type: Theses
Title: Learning structured prediction models in computer vision
Author: Liu, Fayao
Issue Date: 2015
School/Discipline: School of Computer Science
Abstract: Most of the real world applications can be formulated as structured learning problems, in which the output domain can be arbitrary, e.g., a sequence or a graph. By modelling the structures (constraints and correlations) of the output variables, structured learning provides a more general learning scheme than simple binary classification or regression models. This thesis is dedicated to learning such structured prediction models, i.e., conditional random fields (CRFs) and their applications in computer vision. CRFs are popular probabilistic graphical models, which model the conditional distribution of the output variables given the observations. They play an essential role in the computer vision community and have found wide applications in various vision tasks-semantic labelling, object detection, pose estimation, to name a few. Specifically, we here focus on two challenging tasks in this thesis: image segmentation (also referred as semantic labelling) and depth estimation from single monocular images, which represent two types of CRFs models-discrete and continuous. In summary, we made three contributions in this thesis. First, we present a new approach to exploit tree potentials in CRFs for the task of image segmentation. This method combines the advantages of both CRFs and decision trees. Different from traditional methods, in which the potential functions of CRFs are defined as a linear combination of some pre-defined parametric models, we formulate the unary and the pairwise potentials as nonparametric forests-ensembles of decision trees, and learn the ensemble parameters and the trees in a unified optimization problem within the large-margin framework. In this fashion, we easily achieve nonlinear learning of potential functions on both unary and pairwise terms in CRFs. Moreover, we learn class-wise decision trees for each object that appears in the image. We further show that this challenging optimization can be efficiently solved by combining a modified column generation and cutting-planes techniques. Experimental results on both binary and multi-class segmentation datasets demonstrate the power of the learned nonlinear nonparametric potentials. Second, we propose to model the unary potentials of the CRFs using a convolutional neural network (CNN). The deep CNN is trained on the large-scale ImageNet dataset and transferred to image segmentation here for constructing unary potentials of super-pixels. The CRFs parameters are then learned within the max-margin framework using structured support vector machines (SSVM). To fully exploit context information in inference, we construct spatially related co-occurrence pairwise potentials and incorporate them into the energy function. This prefers labellings of object pairs that frequently co-occur in a certain spatial layout and at the same time avoids implausible labellings during the inference. Extensive experiments on binary and multi-class segmentation benchmarks demonstrate the potentials of the proposed method. Third, different from the previous two works, we address the problem of continuous CRFs learning, applied to the task of depth estimation from single images. Specifically, we formulate and learn the unary and pairwise potentials of a continuous CRFs model with CNN networks in a unified framework. We term this new method as deep convolutional neural fields, abbreviated as DCNF. It jointly explores the capacity of deep CNN and continuous CRFs. The proposed method can be used for depth estimation of general scenes with no geometric priors nor any extra information injected. Specifically, in our case, the integral of the partition function can be calculated in a closed form such that we can exactly solve the log-likelihood maximization. Moreover, solving the inference problem for predicting depths of a test image is highly efficient as closed-form solutions exist. We then further propose an equally effective model based on fully convolutional networks and a novel superpixel pooling method, which is ~ 10 times faster, to speedup the patch-wise convolutions in the deep model. With this more efficient model, we are able to design very deep networks to pursue further performance gain. Experiments on both indoor and outdoor scene datasets demonstrate that the proposed method significantly outperforms state-of-the-art depth estimation approaches. We also show experimentally that the proposed method generalizes well to depth estimations of images unrelated to the training data. This indicates the potential of our method for benefiting other vision tasks.
Advisor: Shen, Chunhua
van den Hengel, Anton John
Suter, David
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Computer Science, 2015.
Keywords: structured learning
conditional random fields
decision trees
structured SVM
continuous CRF
Convolutional Neural Networks
image segmentation
depth estimation
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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