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Neural Painters: A learned differentiable constraint for generating brushstroke paintings

Reiichiro Nakano

We explore neural painters, a generative model for brushstrokes learned from a real non-differentiable and non-deterministic painting program. We show that when training an agent to "paint" images using brushstrokes, using a differentiable neural painter leads to much faster convergence. We propose a method for encouraging this agent to follow human-like strokes when reconstructing digits. We also explore the use of a neural painter as a differentiable image parameterization. By directly optimizing brushstrokes to activate neurons in a pre-trained convolutional network, we can directly visualize ImageNet categories and generate "ideal" paintings of each class. Finally, we present a new concept called intrinsic style transfer. By minimizing only the content loss from neural style transfer, we allow the artistic medium, in this case, brushstrokes, to naturally dictate the resulting style.

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Generating Multiple Hypotheses for 3D Human Pose Estimation with Mixture Density Network

Chen Li, Gim Hee Lee

3D human pose estimation from a monocular image or 2D joints is an ill-posed problem because of depth ambiguity and occluded joints. We argue that 3D human pose estimation from a monocular input is an inverse problem where multiple feasible solutions can exist. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to generate multiple feasible hypotheses of the 3D pose from 2D joints.In contrast to existing deep learning approaches which minimize a mean square error based on an unimodal Gaussian distribution, our method is able to generate multiple feasible hypotheses of 3D pose based on a multimodal mixture density networks. Our experiments show that the 3D poses estimated by our approach from an input of 2D joints are consistent in 2D reprojections, which supports our argument that multiple solutions exist for the 2D-to-3D inverse problem. Furthermore, we show state-of-the-art performance on the Human3.6M dataset in both best hypothesis and multi-view settings, and we demonstrate the generalization capacity of our model by testing on the MPII and MPI-INF-3DHP datasets. Our code is available at the project website.

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Direct Fitting of Gaussian Mixture Models

Leonid Keselman, Martial Hebert

When fitting Gaussian Mixture Models to 3D geometry, the model is typically fit to point clouds, even when the shapes were obtained as 3D meshes. Here we present a formulation for fitting Gaussian Mixture Models (GMMs) directly to geometric objects, using the triangles of triangular mesh instead of using points sampled from its surface. We demonstrate that this modification enables fitting higher-quality GMMs under a wider range of initialization conditions. Additionally, models obtained from this fitting method are shown to produce an improvement in 3D registration for both meshes and RGB-D frames.

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SPEAK YOUR MIND! Towards Imagined Speech Recognition With Hierarchical Deep Learning

Pramit Saha, Muhammad Abdul-Mageed, Sidney Fels

Speech-related Brain Computer Interface (BCI) technologies provide effective vocal communication strategies for controlling devices through speech commands interpreted from brain signals. In order to infer imagined speech from active thoughts, we propose a novel hierarchical deep learning BCI system for subject-independent classification of 11 speech tokens including phonemes and words. Our novel approach exploits predicted articulatory information of six phonological categories (e.g., nasal, bilabial) as an intermediate step for classifying the phonemes and words, thereby finding discriminative signal responsible for natural speech synthesis. The proposed network is composed of hierarchical combination of spatial and temporal CNN cascaded with a deep autoencoder. Our best models on the KARA database achieve an average accuracy of 83.42% across the six different binary phonological classification tasks, and 53.36% for the individual token identification task, significantly outperforming our baselines. Ultimately, our work suggests the possible existence of a brain imagery footprint for the underlying articulatory movement related to different sounds that can be used to aid imagined speech decoding.

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Neural Rerendering in the Wild

Moustafa Meshry, Dan B Goldman, Sameh Khamis, Hugues Hoppe, Rohit Pandey, Noah Snavely, Ricardo Martin-Brualla

We explore total scene capture -- recording, modeling, and rerendering a scene under varying appearance such as season and time of day. Starting from internet photos of a tourist landmark, we apply traditional 3D reconstruction to register the photos and approximate the scene as a point cloud. For each photo, we render the scene points into a deep framebuffer, and train a neural network to learn the mapping of these initial renderings to the actual photos. This rerendering network also takes as input a latent appearance vector and a semantic mask indicating the location of transient objects like pedestrians. The model is evaluated on several datasets of publicly available images spanning a broad range of illumination conditions. We create short videos demonstrating realistic manipulation of the image viewpoint, appearance, and semantic labeling. We also compare results with prior work on scene reconstruction from internet photos.

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Unsupervised Recurrent Neural Network Grammars

Yoon Kim, Alexander M. Rush, Lei Yu, Adhiguna Kuncoro, Chris Dyer, Gábor Melis

Recurrent neural network grammars (RNNG) are generative models of language which jointly model syntax and surface structure by incrementally generating a syntax tree and sentence in a top-down, left-to-right order. Supervised RNNGs achieve strong language modeling and parsing performance, but require an annotated corpus of parse trees. In this work, we experiment with unsupervised learning of RNNGs. Since directly marginalizing over the space of latent trees is intractable, we instead apply amortized variational inference. To maximize the evidence lower bound, we develop an inference network parameterized as a neural CRF constituency parser. On language modeling, unsupervised RNNGs perform as well their supervised counterparts on benchmarks in English and Chinese. On constituency grammar induction, they are competitive with recent neural language models that induce tree structures from words through attention mechanisms.

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Speech Model Pre-training for End-to-End Spoken Language Understanding

Loren Lugosch, Mirco Ravanelli, Patrick Ignoto, Vikrant Singh Tomar, Yoshua Bengio

Whereas conventional spoken language understanding (SLU) systems map speech to text, and then text to intent, end-to-end SLU systems map speech directly to intent through a single trainable model. Achieving high accuracy with these end-to-end models without a large amount of training data is difficult. We propose a method to reduce the data requirements of end-to-end SLU in which the model is first pre-trained to predict words and phonemes, thus learning good features for SLU. We introduce a new SLU dataset, Fluent Speech Commands, and show that our method improves performance both when the full dataset is used for training and when only a small subset is used. We also describe preliminary experiments to gauge the model's ability to generalize to new phrases not heard during training.

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PaintBot: A Reinforcement Learning Approach for Natural Media Painting

Biao Jia, Chen Fang, Jonathan Brandt, Byungmoon Kim, Dinesh Manocha

We propose a new automated digital painting framework, based on a painting agent trained through reinforcement learning. To synthesize an image, the agent selects a sequence of continuous-valued actions representing primitive painting strokes, which are accumulated on a digital canvas. Action selection is guided by a given reference image, which the agent attempts to replicate subject to the limitations of the action space and the agent's learned policy. The painting agent policy is determined using a variant of proximal policy optimization reinforcement learning. During training, our agent is presented with patches sampled from an ensemble of reference images. To accelerate training convergence, we adopt a curriculum learning strategy, whereby reference patches are sampled according to how challenging they are using the current policy. We experiment with differing loss functions, including pixel-wise and perceptual loss, which have consequent differing effects on the learned policy. We demonstrate that our painting agent can learn an effective policy with a high dimensional continuous action space comprising pen pressure, width, tilt, and color, for a variety of painting styles. Through a coarse-to-fine refinement process our agent can paint arbitrarily complex images in the desired style.

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Exploring Randomly Wired Neural Networks for Image Recognition

Saining Xie, Alexander Kirillov, Ross Girshick, Kaiming He

Neural networks for image recognition have evolved through extensive manual design from simple chain-like models to structures with multiple wiring paths. The success of ResNets and DenseNets is due in large part to their innovative wiring plans. Now, neural architecture search (NAS) studies are exploring the joint optimization of wiring and operation types, however, the space of possible wirings is constrained and still driven by manual design despite being searched. In this paper, we explore a more diverse set of connectivity patterns through the lens of randomly wired neural networks. To do this, we first define the concept of a stochastic network generator that encapsulates the entire network generation process. Encapsulation provides a unified view of NAS and randomly wired networks. Then, we use three classical random graph models to generate randomly wired graphs for networks. The results are surprising: several variants of these random generators yield network instances that have competitive accuracy on the ImageNet benchmark. These results suggest that new efforts focusing on designing better network generators may lead to new breakthroughs by exploring less constrained search spaces with more room for novel design.

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FCOS: Fully Convolutional One-Stage Object Detection

Zhi Tian, Chunhua Shen, Hao Chen, Tong He

We propose a fully convolutional one-stage object detector (FCOS) to solve object detection in a per-pixel prediction fashion, analogue to semantic segmentation. Almost all state-of-the-art object detectors such as RetinaNet, SSD, YOLOv3, and Faster R-CNN rely on pre-defined anchor boxes. In contrast, our proposed detector FCOS is anchor-box free, as well as proposal free. By eliminating the pre-defined set of anchor boxes, FCOS completely avoids the complicated computation related to anchor boxes such as calculating overlapping during training and significantly reduces the training memory footprint. More importantly, we also avoid all hyper-parameters related to anchor boxes, which are often very sensitive to the final detection performance. With the only post-processing non-maximum suppression (NMS), our detector FCOS outperforms previous anchor-based one-stage detectors with the advantage of being much simpler. For the first time, we demonstrate a much simpler and flexible detection framework achieving improved detection accuracy. We hope that the proposed FCOS framework can serve as a simple and strong alternative for many other instance-level tasks. Code is available at: https://tinyurl.com/FCOSv1

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HoloGAN: Unsupervised learning of 3D representations from natural images

Thu Nguyen-Phuoc, Chuan Li, Lucas Theis, Christian Richardt, Yong-Liang Yang

We propose a novel generative adversarial network (GAN) for the task of unsupervised learning of 3D representations from natural images. Most generative models rely on 2D kernels to generate images and make few assumptions about the 3D world. These models therefore tend to create blurry images or artefacts in tasks that require a strong 3D understanding, such as novel-view synthesis. HoloGAN instead learns a 3D representation of the world, and to render this representation in a realistic manner. Unlike other GANs, HoloGAN provides explicit control over the pose of generated objects through rigid-body transformations of the learnt 3D features. Our experiments show that using explicit 3D features enables HoloGAN to disentangle 3D pose and identity, which is further decomposed into shape and appearance, while still being able to generate images with similar or higher visual quality than other generative models. HoloGAN can be trained end-to-end from unlabelled 2D images only. Particularly, we do not require pose labels, 3D shapes, or multiple views of the same objects. This shows that HoloGAN is the first generative model that learns 3D representations from natural images in an entirely unsupervised manner.

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Benchmarking Neural Network Robustness to Common Corruptions and Perturbations

Dan Hendrycks, Thomas Dietterich

In this paper we establish rigorous benchmarks for image classifier robustness. Our first benchmark, ImageNet-C, standardizes and expands the corruption robustness topic, while showing which classifiers are preferable in safety-critical applications. Then we propose a new dataset called ImageNet-P which enables researchers to benchmark a classifier's robustness to common perturbations. Unlike recent robustness research, this benchmark evaluates performance on common corruptions and perturbations not worst-case adversarial perturbations. We find that there are negligible changes in relative corruption robustness from AlexNet classifiers to ResNet classifiers. Afterward we discover ways to enhance corruption and perturbation robustness. We even find that a bypassed adversarial defense provides substantial common perturbation robustness. Together our benchmarks may aid future work toward networks that robustly generalize.

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Auto-Embedding Generative Adversarial Networks for High Resolution Image Synthesis

Yong Guo, Qi Chen, Jian Chen, Qingyao Wu, Qinfeng Shi, Mingkui Tan

Generating images via the generative adversarial network (GAN) has attracted much attention recently. However, most of the existing GAN-based methods can only produce low-resolution images of limited quality. Directly generating high-resolution images using GANs is nontrivial, and often produces problematic images with incomplete objects. To address this issue, we develop a novel GAN called Auto-Embedding Generative Adversarial Network (AEGAN), which simultaneously encodes the global structure features and captures the fine-grained details. In our network, we use an autoencoder to learn the intrinsic high-level structure of real images and design a novel denoiser network to provide photo-realistic details for the generated images. In the experiments, we are able to produce 512x512 images of promising quality directly from the input noise. The resultant images exhibit better perceptual photo-realism, i.e., with sharper structure and richer details, than other baselines on several datasets, including Oxford-102 Flowers, Caltech-UCSD Birds (CUB), High-Quality Large-scale CelebFaces Attributes (CelebA-HQ), Large-scale Scene Understanding (LSUN) and ImageNet.

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Musical Tempo and Key Estimation using Convolutional Neural Networks with Directional Filters

Hendrik Schreiber, Meinard Müller

In this article we explore how the different semantics of spectrograms' time and frequency axes can be exploited for musical tempo and key estimation using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN). By addressing both tasks with the same network architectures ranging from shallow, domain-specific approaches to deep variants with directional filters, we show that axis-aligned architectures perform similarly well as common VGG-style networks developed for computer vision, while being less vulnerable to confounding factors and requiring fewer model parameters.

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Weight Standardization

Siyuan Qiao, Huiyu Wang, Chenxi Liu, Wei Shen, Alan Yuille

In this paper, we propose Weight Standardization (WS) to accelerate deep network training. WS is targeted at the micro-batch training setting where each GPU typically has only 1-2 images for training. The micro-batch training setting is hard because small batch sizes are not enough for training networks with Batch Normalization (BN), while other normalization methods that do not rely on batch knowledge still have difficulty matching the performances of BN in large-batch training. Our WS ends this problem because when used with Group Normalization and trained with 1 image/GPU, WS is able to match or outperform the performances of BN trained with large batch sizes with only 2 more lines of code. In micro-batch training, WS significantly outperforms other normalization methods. WS achieves these superior results by standardizing the weights in the convolutional layers, which we show is able to smooth the loss landscape by reducing the Lipschitz constants of the loss and the gradients. The effectiveness of WS is verified on many tasks, including image classification, object detection, instance segmentation, video recognition, semantic segmentation, and point cloud recognition. The code is available here: https://github.com/joe-siyuan-qiao/WeightStandardization.

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Counterpoint by Convolution

Cheng-Zhi Anna Huang, Tim Cooijmans, Adam Roberts, Aaron Courville, Douglas Eck

Machine learning models of music typically break up the task of composition into a chronological process, composing a piece of music in a single pass from beginning to end. On the contrary, human composers write music in a nonlinear fashion, scribbling motifs here and there, often revisiting choices previously made. In order to better approximate this process, we train a convolutional neural network to complete partial musical scores, and explore the use of blocked Gibbs sampling as an analogue to rewriting. Neither the model nor the generative procedure are tied to a particular causal direction of composition. Our model is an instance of orderless NADE (Uria et al., 2014), which allows more direct ancestral sampling. However, we find that Gibbs sampling greatly improves sample quality, which we demonstrate to be due to some conditional distributions being poorly modeled. Moreover, we show that even the cheap approximate blocked Gibbs procedure from Yao et al. (2014) yields better samples than ancestral sampling, based on both log-likelihood and human evaluation.

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Smart, Deep Copy-Paste

Tiziano Portenier, Qiyang Hu, Paolo Favaro, Matthias Zwicker

In this work, we propose a novel system for smart copy-paste, enabling the synthesis of high-quality results given a masked source image content and a target image context as input. Our system naturally resolves both shading and geometric inconsistencies between source and target image, resulting in a merged result image that features the content from the pasted source image, seamlessly pasted into the target context. Our framework is based on a novel training image transformation procedure that allows to train a deep convolutional neural network end-to-end to automatically learn a representation that is suitable for copy-pasting. Our training procedure works with any image dataset without additional information such as labels, and we demonstrate the effectiveness of our system on two popular datasets, high-resolution face images and the more complex Cityscapes dataset. Our technique outperforms the current state of the art on face images, and we show promising results on the Cityscapes dataset, demonstrating that our system generalizes to much higher resolution than the training data.

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Stochastic Beams and Where to Find Them: The Gumbel-Top-k Trick for Sampling Sequences Without Replacement

Wouter Kool, Herke van Hoof, Max Welling

The well-known Gumbel-Max trick for sampling from a categorical distribution can be extended to sample $k$ elements without replacement. We show how to implicitly apply this 'Gumbel-Top-$k$' trick on a factorized distribution over sequences, allowing to draw exact samples without replacement using a Stochastic Beam Search. Even for exponentially large domains, the number of model evaluations grows only linear in $k$ and the maximum sampled sequence length. The algorithm creates a theoretical connection between sampling and (deterministic) beam search and can be used as a principled intermediate alternative. In a translation task, the proposed method compares favourably against alternatives to obtain diverse yet good quality translations. We show that sequences sampled without replacement can be used to construct low-variance estimators for expected sentence-level BLEU score and model entropy.

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Diagnosing and Enhancing VAE Models

Bin Dai, David Wipf

Although variational autoencoders (VAEs) represent a widely influential deep generative model, many aspects of the underlying energy function remain poorly understood. In particular, it is commonly believed that Gaussian encoder/decoder assumptions reduce the effectiveness of VAEs in generating realistic samples. In this regard, we rigorously analyze the VAE objective, differentiating situations where this belief is and is not actually true. We then leverage the corresponding insights to develop a simple VAE enhancement that requires no additional hyperparameters or sensitive tuning. Quantitatively, this proposal produces crisp samples and stable FID scores that are actually competitive with a variety of GAN models, all while retaining desirable attributes of the original VAE architecture. A shorter version of this work will appear in the ICLR 2019 conference proceedings (Dai and Wipf, 2019). The code for our model is available at https://github.com/daib13/ TwoStageVAE.

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Functional Variational Bayesian Neural Networks

Shengyang Sun, Guodong Zhang, Jiaxin Shi, Roger Grosse

Variational Bayesian neural networks (BNNs) perform variational inference over weights, but it is difficult to specify meaningful priors and approximate posteriors in a high-dimensional weight space. We introduce functional variational Bayesian neural networks (fBNNs), which maximize an Evidence Lower BOund (ELBO) defined directly on stochastic processes, i.e. distributions over functions. We prove that the KL divergence between stochastic processes equals the supremum of marginal KL divergences over all finite sets of inputs. Based on this, we introduce a practical training objective which approximates the functional ELBO using finite measurement sets and the spectral Stein gradient estimator. With fBNNs, we can specify priors entailing rich structures, including Gaussian processes and implicit stochastic processes. Empirically, we find fBNNs extrapolate well using various structured priors, provide reliable uncertainty estimates, and scale to large datasets.

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