Publications

StretchBEV: Stretching Future Instance Prediction Spatially and Temporally

In self-driving, predicting future in terms of location and motion of all the agents around the vehicle is a crucial requirement for planning. Recently, a new joint formulation of perception and prediction has emerged by fusing rich sensory information perceived from multiple cameras into a compact bird’s-eye view representation to perform prediction. However, the quality of future predictions degrades over time while extending to longer time horizons due to multiple plausible predictions. In this work, we address this inherent uncertainty in future predictions with a stochastic temporal model. Our model learns temporal dynamics in a latent space through stochastic residual updates at each time step. By sampling from a learned distribution at each time step, we obtain more diverse future predictions that are also more accurate compared to previous work, especially stretching both spatially further regions in the scene and temporally over longer time horizons. Despite separate processing of each time step, our model is still efficient through decoupling of the learning of dynamics and the generation of future predictions.

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Stochastic Video Prediction with Structure and Motion

While stochastic video prediction models enable future prediction under uncertainty, they mostly fail to model the complex dynamics of real-world scenes. For example, they cannot provide reliable predictions for scenes with a moving camera and independently moving foreground objects in driving scenarios. The existing methods fail to fully capture the dynamics of the structured world by only focusing on changes in pixels. In this paper, we assume that there is an underlying process creating observations in a video and propose to factorize it into static and dynamic components. We model the static part based on the scene structure and the ego-motion of the vehicle, and the dynamic part based on the remaining motion of the dynamic objects. By learning separate distributions of changes in foreground and background, we can decompose the scene into static and dynamic parts and separately model the change in each. Our experiments demonstrate that disentangling structure and motion helps stochastic video prediction, leading to better future predictions in complex driving scenarios on two real-world driving datasets, KITTI and Cityscapes.

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Self-Supervised Monocular Scene Decomposition and Depth Estimation

Self-supervised monocular depth estimation approaches either ignore independently moving objects in the scene or need a separate segmentation step to identify them. We propose MonoDepthSeg to jointly estimate depth and segment moving objects from monocular video without using any ground-truth labels. We decompose the scene into a fixed number of components where each component corresponds to a region on the image with its own transformation matrix representing its motion. We estimate both the mask and the motion of each component efficiently with a shared encoder. We evaluate our method on three driving datasets and show that our model clearly improves depth estimation while decomposing the scene into separately moving components.

Paper | Project PageVideo | Poster

SLAMP: Stochastic Latent Appearance and Motion Prediction

Motion is an important cue for video prediction and often utilized by separating video content into static and dynamic components. Most of the previous work utilizing motion is deterministic but there are stochastic methods that can model the inherent uncertainty of the future. Existing stochastic models either do not reason about motion explicitly or make limiting assumptions about the static part. In this paper, we reason about appearance and motion in the video stochastically by predicting the future based on the motion history. Explicit reasoning about motion without history already reaches the performance of current stochastic models. The motion history further improves the results by allowing to predict consistent dynamics several frames into the future. Our model performs comparably to the state-of-the-art models on the generic video prediction datasets, however, significantly outperforms them on two challenging real-world autonomous driving datasets with complex motion and dynamic background.

Paper | Project PageVideoCode | Poster

Unsupervised Learning of Multi-Frame Optical Flow with Occlusions

Learning optical flow with neural networks is hampered by the need for obtaining training data with associated ground truth. Unsupervised learning is a promising direction, yet the performance of current unsupervised methods is still limited. In particular, the lack of proper occlusion handling in commonly used data terms constitutes a major source of error. While most optical flow methods process pairs of consecutive frames, more advanced occlusion reasoning can be realized when considering multiple frames. In this paper, we propose a framework for unsupervised learning of optical flow and occlusions over multiple frames. More specifically, we exploit the minimal configuration of three frames to strengthen the photometric loss and explicitly reason about occlusions. We demonstrate that our multi-frame, occlusion sensitive formulation outperforms existing unsupervised two-frame methods and even produces results on par with some fully supervised methods.

Paper | Supplementary MaterialVideoCode

On the Integration of Optical Flow and Action Recognition

Most of the top-performing action recognition methods use optical flow as a black box input. Here, we take a deeper look at the combination of flow and action recognition and investigate why optical flow is helpful, what makes a flow method good for action recognition, and how we can make it better. In particular, we investigate the impact of different flow algorithms and input transformations to better understand how these affect a state-of-the-art action recognition method. Furthermore, we fine-tune two neural-network flow methods end-to-end on the most widely used action recognition dataset (UCF101). Based on these experiments, we make the following five observations:
1) optical flow is useful for action recognition because it is invariant to appearance,
2) optical flow methods are optimized to minimize end-point-error (EPE), but the EPE of current methods is not well correlated with action recognition performance,
3) for the flow methods tested, accuracy at boundaries and at small displacements is most correlated with action recognition performance,
4) training optical flow to minimize classification error instead of minimizing EPE improves recognition performance, and
5) optical flow learned for the task of action recognition differs from traditional optical flow especially inside the human body and at the boundary of the body.
These observations may encourage optical flow researchers to look beyond EPE as a goal and guide action recognition researchers to seek better motion cues, leading to a tighter integration of the optical flow and action recognition communities.

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Slow Flow: Exploiting High-Speed Cameras for Accurate and Diverse Optical Flow Reference Data

Existing optical flow datasets are limited in size and variability due to the difficulty of capturing dense ground truth. In this paper, we tackle this problem by tracking pixels through densely sampled space-time volumes recorded with a high-speed video camera. Our model exploits the linearity of small motions and reasons about occlusions from multiple frames. Using our technique, we are able to establish accurate reference flow fields outside the laboratory in natural environments. Besides, we show how our predictions can be used to augment the input images with realistic motion blur. We demonstrate the quality of the produced flow fields on synthetic and real-world datasets. Finally, we collect a novel challenging optical flow dataset by applying our technique on data from a high-speed camera and analyze the performance of the state-of-the-art in optical flow under various levels of motion blur.

PaperSupplementary MaterialVideoProject Page

Computer Vision for Autonomous Vehicles: Problems, Datasets and State-of the-Art

Recent years have witnessed amazing progress in AI related fields such as computer vision, machine learning and autonomous vehicles. As with any rapidly growing field, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay up-to-date or enter the field as a beginner. While several topic specific survey papers have been written, to date no general survey on problems, datasets and methods in computer vision for autonomous vehicles exists. This paper attempts to narrow this gap by providing a state-of-the-art survey on this topic. Our survey includes both the historically most relevant literature as well as the current state-of-the-art on several specific topics, including recognition, reconstruction, motion estimation, tracking, scene understanding and end-to-end learning. Towards this goal, we first provide a taxonomy to classify each approach and then analyze the performance of the state-of-the-art on several challenging benchmarking datasets including KITTI, ISPRS, MOT and Cityscapes. Besides, we discuss open problems and current research challenges.

To ease accessibility and accommodate missing references, we also provide an interactive platform which allows to navigate topics and methods, and provides additional information and project links for each paper.

ArxivProject Page

Deep Discrete Flow

Motivated by the success of deep learning techniques in matching problems, we present a method for learning context-aware features for solving optical flow using discrete optimization. Towards this goal, we present an efficient way of training a context network with a large receptive field size on top of a local network using dilated convolutions on patches. We perform feature matching by comparing each pixel in the reference image to every pixel in the target image, utilizing fast GPU matrix multiplication. The matching cost volume from the network’s output forms the data term for discrete MAP inference in a pairwise Markov random field. We provide an extensive empirical investigation of network architectures and model parameters. At the time of submission, our method ranks second on the challenging MPI Sintel test set.

PaperSupplementary MaterialPoster

Exploiting Object Similarity in 3D Reconstruction

Despite recent progress, reconstructing outdoor scenes in 3D from movable platforms remains a highly difficult endeavor. Challenges include low frame rates, occlusions, large distortions and difficult lighting conditions. In this paper, we leverage the fact that the larger the reconstructed area, the more likely objects of similar type and shape will occur in the scene. This is particularly true for outdoor scenes where buildings and vehicles often suffer from missing texture or reflections, but share similarity in 3D shape. We take advantage of this shape similarity by locating objects using detectors and jointly reconstructing them while learning a volumetric model of their shape. This allows us to reduce noise while completing missing surfaces as objects of similar shape benefit from all observations for the respective category. We evaluate our approach with respect to LIDAR ground truth on a novel challenging suburban dataset and show its advantages over the state-of-the-art.

Paper | Supplementary MaterialVideoProject Page

Displets: Resolving Stereo Ambiguities using Object Knowledge

Stereo techniques have witnessed tremendous progress over the last decades, yet some aspects of the problem still remain challenging today. Striking examples are reflecting and textureless surfaces which cannot easily be recovered using traditional local regularizers. In this paper, we therefore propose to regularize over larger distances using object-category specific disparity proposals (displets) which we sample using inverse graphics techniques based on a sparse disparity estimate and a semantic segmentation of the image. The proposed displets encode the fact that objects of certain categories are not arbitrarily shaped but typically exhibit regular structures. We integrate them as non-local regularizer for the challenging object class ‘car’ into a superpixel based CRF framework and demonstrate its benefits on the KITTI stereo evaluation.

PaperExtended AbstractSupplementary MaterialSlidesPoster
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