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Dumitru Erhan

Dumitru Erhan

PhD in deep learning at University of Montreal. Part of Google Brain's initiatives to solve visual understanding with deep learning. Previously a scientist with Yahoo Labs.
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Google Publications
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    Preview abstract We present Phenaki, a model capable of realistic video synthesis given a sequence of textual prompts. Generating videos from text is particularly challenging due to the computational cost, limited quantities of high quality text-video data and variable length of videos. To address these issues, we introduce a new causal model for learning video representation which compresses the video to a small discrete tokens representation. This tokenizer is auto-regressive in time, which allows it to work with variable-length videos. To generate video tokens from text we are using a bidirectional masked transformer conditioned on pre-computed text tokens. The generated video tokens are subsequently de-tokenized to create the actual video. To address data issues, we demonstrate how joint training on a large corpus of image-text pairs as well as a smaller number of video-text examples can result in generalization beyond what is available in the video datasets. Compared to the previous video generation methods, Phenaki can generate arbitrary long videos conditioned on a sequence of prompts (i.e. time variable text or story in open domain). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a paper studies generating videos from time variable prompts. View details
    VideoFlow: A Conditional Flow-Based Model for Stochastic Video Generation
    Mohammad Babaeizadeh
    Chelsea Finn
    Sergey Levine
    Laurent Dinh
    ICLR (2020) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Generative models that can model and predict sequences of future events can, in principle, learn to capture complex real-world phenomena, such as physical interactions. However, a central challenge in video prediction is that the future is highly uncertain: a sequence of past observations of events can imply many possible futures. Although a number of recent works have studied probabilistic models that can represent uncertain futures, such models are either extremely expensive computationally as in the case of pixel-level autoregressive models, or do not directly optimize the likelihood of the data. To our knowledge, our work is the first to propose multi-frame video prediction with normalizing flows, which allows for direct optimization of the data likelihood, and produces high-quality stochastic predictions. We describe an approach for modeling the latent space dynamics, and demonstrate that flow-based generative models offer a viable and competitive approach to generative modeling of video. View details
    Model-Based Reinforcement Learning for Atari
    Blazej Osinski
    Chelsea Finn
    Henryk Michalewski
    Konrad Czechowski
    Lukasz Mieczyslaw Kaiser
    Mohammad Babaeizadeh
    Piotr Kozakowski
    Piotr Milos
    Roy H Campbell
    Ryan Sepassi
    Sergey Levine
    NIPS'18 (2020)
    Preview abstract Model-free reinforcement learning (RL) can be used to learn effective policies for complex tasks, such as Atari games, even from image observations. However, this typically requires very large amounts of interaction -- substantially more, in fact, than a human would need to learn the same games. How can people learn so quickly? Part of the answer may be that people can learn how the game works and predict which actions will lead to desirable outcomes. In this paper, we explore how video prediction models can similarly enable agents to solve Atari games with orders of magnitude fewer interactions than model-free methods. We describe Simulated Policy Learning (SimPLe), a complete model-based deep RL algorithm based on video prediction models and present a comparison of several model architectures, including a novel architecture that yields the best results in our setting. Our experiments evaluate SimPLe on a range of Atari games and achieve competitive results with only 100K interactions between the agent and the environment (400K frames), which corresponds to about two hours of real-time play. View details
    Preview abstract Predicting future video frames is extremely challenging, as there are many factors of variation that make up the dynamics of how frames change through time. Previously proposed solutions require complex network architectures and highly specialized computation, including segmentation masks, optical flow, and foreground and background separation. In this work, we question if such handcrafted architectures are necessary and instead propose a different approach: maximizing the capacity of a standard convolutional neural network. We perform the first large-scale empirical study of the effect of capacity on video prediction models. In our experiments, we demonstrate our results on three different datasets: one for modeling object interactions, one for modeling human motion, and one for modeling first-person car driving. View details
    Preview abstract Estimating the influence of a given feature to a model prediction is challenging. We introduce ROAR, RemOve And Retrain, a benchmark to evaluate the accuracy of interpretability methods that estimate input feature importance in deep neural networks. We remove a fraction of input features deemed to be most important according to each estimator and measure the change to the model accuracy upon retraining. The most accurate estimator will identify inputs as important whose removal causes the most damage to model performance relative to all other estimators. This evaluation produces thought-provoking results -- we find that several estimators are less accurate than a random assignment of feature importance. However, averaging a set of squared noisy estimators (a variant of a technique proposed by Smilkov et al. (2017)), leads to significant gains in accuracy for each method considered and far outperforms such a random guess. View details
    Stochastic Variational Video Prediction
    Mohammad Babaeizadeh
    Chelsea Finn
    Roy Campbell
    Sergey Levine
    ICLR (2018)
    Preview abstract Predicting the future in real-world settings, particularly from raw sensory observations such as images, is exceptionally challenging. Real-world events can be stochastic and unpredictable, and the high dimensionality and complexity of natural images requires the predictive model to build an intricate understanding of the natural world. Many existing methods tackle this problem by making simplifying assumptions about the environment. One common assumption is that the outcome is deterministic and there is only one plausible future which leads to low-quality predictions in real-world settings with stochastic dynamics. In contrast, we developed a variational stochastic method for video prediction that predicts a different possible future for each sample of its latent random variables. To the best of our knowledge, our model is the first to provide effective stochastic multi-frame prediction for real-world video. We demonstrate the capability of the proposed method in predicting detailed future frames of videos on multiple real-world datasets, both action-free and action-conditioned. We find that our proposed method produces substantially improved video predictions when compared to the same model without stochasticity, and to other stochastic video prediction methods. The TensorFlow-based implementation of our method will be open sourced upon publication. View details
    Preview abstract DeConvNet, Guided BackProp, LRP, were invented to better understand deep neural networks. We show that these methods do not produce the theoretically correct explanation for a linear model. Yet they are used on multi-layer networks with millions of parameters. This is a cause for concern since linear models are simple neural networks. We argue that explanation methods for neural nets should work reliably in the limit of simplicity, the linear models. Based on our analysis of linear models we propose a generalization that yields two explanation techniques (PatternNet and PatternAttribution) that are theoretically sound for linear models and produce improved explanations for deep networks. View details
    Preview abstract Much of recent research has been devoted to video prediction and generation, yet most of the previous works have demonstrated only limited success in generating videos on short-term horizons. The hierarchical video prediction method by Villegas et al. (2017b) is an example of a state-of-the-art method for long-term video prediction, but their method is limited because it requires ground truth annotation of high-level structures (e.g., human joint landmarks) at training time. Our network encodes the input frame, predicts a high-level encoding into the future, and then a decoder with access to the first frame produces the predicted image from the predicted encoding. The decoder also produces a mask that outlines the predicted foreground object (e.g., person) as a by-product. Unlike Villegas et al. (2017b), we develop a novel training method that jointly trains the encoder, the predictor, and the decoder together without highlevel supervision; we further improve upon this by using an adversarial loss in the feature space to train the predictor. Our method can predict about 20 seconds into the future and provides better results compared to Denton and Fergus (2018) and Finn et al. (2016) on the Human 3.6M dataset. View details
    The (Un)reliability of Saliency methods
    Sara Hooker
    Julius Adebayo
    Maximilian Alber
    Kristof T. Schütt
    Sven Dähne
    NIPS Workshop (2017)
    Preview abstract Saliency methods aim to explain the predictions of deep neural networks. These methods lack reliability when the explanation is sensitive to factors that do not contribute to the model prediction. We use a simple and common pre-processing step ---adding a constant shift to the input data--- to show that a transformation with no effect on the model can cause numerous methods to incorrectly attribute. In order to guarantee reliability, we posit that methods should fulfill input invariance, the requirement that a saliency method mirror the sensitivity of the model with respect to transformations of the input. We show, through several examples, that saliency methods that do not satisfy input invariance result in misleading attribution. View details
    Preview abstract Collecting well-annotated image datasets to train modern machine learning algorithms is prohibitively expensive for many tasks. One appealing alternative is rendering synthetic data where ground-truth annotations are generated automatically. Unfortunately, models trained purely on rendered images often fail to generalize to real images. To address this shortcoming, prior work introduced unsupervised domain adaptation algorithms that attempt to map representations between the two domains or learn to extract features that are domain-invariant. In this work, we present a new approach that learns, in an unsupervised manner, a transformation in the pixel space from one domain to the other. Our generative adversarial network (GAN)-based method adapts source-domain images to appear as if drawn from the target domain. Our approach not only produces plausible samples, but also outperforms the state-of-the-art on a number of unsupervised domain adaptation scenarios by large margins. Finally, we demonstrate that the adaptation process generalizes to object classes unseen during training. View details
    SSD: Single Shot MultiBox Detector
    Wei Liu
    Dragomir Anguelov
    Christian Szegedy
    Scott Reed,
    Cheng-Yang Fu,
    Alexander C. Berg
    Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) (2016) (to appear)
    Preview abstract We present a method for detecting objects in images using a single deep neural network. Our approach, named SSD, discretizes the output space of bounding boxes into a set of bounding box priors over different aspect ratios and scales per feature map location. At prediction time, the network generates confidences that each prior corresponds to objects of interest and produces adjustments to the prior to better match the object shape. Additionally, the network combines predictions from multiple feature maps with different resolutions to naturally handle objects of various sizes. Our SSD model is simple relative to methods that requires object proposals, such as R-CNN and MultiBox, because it completely discards the proposal generation step and encapsulates all the computation in a single network. This makes SSD easy to train and straightforward to integrate into systems that require a detection component. Experimental results on ILSVRC DET and PASCAL VOC dataset confirm that SSD has comparable performance with methods that utilize an additional object proposal step and yet is 100-1000x faster. Compared to other single stage methods, SSD has similar or better performance, while providing a unified framework for both training and inference. View details
    Domain Separation Networks
    George Trigeorgis
    Nathan Silberman
    Dilip Krishnan
    NIPS 2016 (2016)
    Preview abstract The cost of large scale data collection and annotation often makes the application of machine learning algorithms to new tasks or datasets prohibitively expensive. One approach circumventing this cost is training models on synthetic data where annotations are provided automatically. Despite their appeal, such models often fail to generalize from synthetic to real images, necessitating domain adaptation algorithms to manipulate these models before they can be successfully applied. Existing approaches focus either on mapping representations from one domain to the other, or on learning to extract features that are invariant to the domain from which they were extracted. However, by focusing only on creating a mapping or shared representation between the two domains, they ignore the individual characteristics of each domain. We suggest that explicitly modeling what is unique to each domain can improve a model's ability to extract domain-invariant features. Inspired by work on private-shared component analysis, we explicitly learn to extract image representations that are partitioned into two subspaces: one component which is private to each domain and one which is shared across domains. Our model is trained not only to perform the task we care about in the source domain, but also to use the partitioned representation to reconstruct the images from both domains. Our novel architecture results in a model that outperforms the state-of-the-art on a range of unsupervised domain adaptation scenarios and additionally produces visualizations of the private and shared representations enabling interpretation of the domain adaptation process. View details
    Training Deep Neural Networks on Noisy Labels with Bootstrapping
    Scott E. Reed
    Honglak Lee
    Dragomir Anguelov
    Christian Szegedy
    Andrew Rabinovich
    ICLR 2015
    Preview abstract Current state-of-the-art deep learning systems for visual object recognition and detection use purely supervised training with regularization such as dropout to avoid overfitting. The performance depends critically on the amount of labeled examples, and in current practice the labels are assumed to be unambiguous and accurate. However, this assumption often does not hold; e.g. in recognition, class labels may be missing; in detection, objects in the image may not be localized; and in general, the labeling may be subjective. In this work we propose a generic way to handle noisy and incomplete labeling by augmenting the prediction objective with a notion of consistency. We consider a prediction consistent if the same prediction is made given similar percepts, where the notion of similarity is between deep network features computed from the input data. In experiments we demonstrate that our approach yields substantial robustness to label noise on several datasets. On MNIST handwritten digits, we show that our model is robust to label corruption. On the Toronto Face Database, we show that our model handles well the case of subjective labels in emotion recognition, achieving state-of-theart results, and can also benefit from unlabeled face images with no modification to our method. On the ILSVRC2014 detection challenge data, we show that our approach extends to very deep networks, high resolution images and structured outputs, and results in improved scalable detection. View details
    Going Deeper with Convolutions
    Christian Szegedy
    Wei Liu
    Yangqing Jia
    Scott Reed
    Dragomir Anguelov
    Andrew Rabinovich
    Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) (2015)
    Preview abstract We propose a deep convolutional neural network architecture codenamed Inception that achieves the new state of the art for classification and detection in the ImageNet Large-Scale Visual Recognition Challenge 2014 (ILSVRC2014). The main hallmark of this architecture is the improved utilization of the computing resources inside the network. By a carefully crafted design, we increased the depth and width of the network while keeping the computational budget constant. To optimize quality, the architectural decisions were based on the Hebbian principle and the intuition of multi-scale processing. One particular incarnation of this architecture, GoogLeNet, a 22 layers deep network, was used to assess its quality in the context of object detection and classification. View details
    Show and tell: A neural image caption generator
    Alexander Toshev
    Samy Bengio
    Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (2015)
    Preview abstract Automatically describing the content of an image is a fundamental problem in artificial intelligence that connects computer vision and natural language processing. In this paper, we present a generative model based on a deep recurrent architecture that combines recent advances in computer vision and machine translation and that can be used to generate natural sentences describing an image. The model is trained to maximize the likelihood of the target description sentence given the training image. Experiments on several datasets show the accuracy of the model and the fluency of the language it learns solely from image descriptions. Our model is often quite accurate, which we verify both qualitatively and quantitatively. For instance, while the current state-of-the-art BLEU score (the higher the better) on the Pascal dataset is 25, our approach yields 59, to be compared to human performance around 69. We also show BLEU-1 score improvements on Flickr30k, from 56 to 66, and on SBU, from 19 to 28. Lastly, on the newly released COCO dataset, we achieve a BLEU-4 of 27.7, which is the current state-of-the-art. View details
    Scalable, high-quality object detection
    Christian Szegedy
    Scott Reed
    Dragomir Anguelov
    arXiv (2015)
    Preview abstract Most high quality object detection approaches use the same scheme: salience-based object proposal methods followed by post-classification using deep convolutional features. In this work, we demonstrate that fully learnt, data driven proposal generation methods can effectively match the accuracy of their hand engineered counterparts, while allowing for very efficient runtime-quality trade-offs. This is achieved by making several key improvements to the MultiBox method [4], among which are an improved neural network architecture, use of contextual features and a new loss function that is robust to missing groundtruth labels. We show that our proposal generation method can closely match the performance of Selective Search [22] at a fraction of the cost. We report new single model state-ofthe-art on the ILSVRC 2014 detection challenge data set, with 0.431 mean average precision when combining both Selective Search and MultiBox proposals with our postclassification model. Finally, our approach allows the training of single class detectors that can process 50 images per second on a Xeon workstation, using CPU only, rivaling the quality of the current best performing methods. View details
    Scalable Object Detection using Deep Neural Networks
    Christian Szegedy
    Alexander Toshev
    Dragomir Anguelov
    Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, IEEE (2014), pp. 2155- 2162
    Preview abstract Deep convolutional neural networks have recently achieved state-of-the-art performance on a number of image recognition benchmarks, including the ImageNet Large-Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC-2012). The winning model on the localization sub-task was a network that predicts a single bounding box and a confidence score for each object category in the image. Such a model captures the whole-image context around the objects but cannot handle multiple instances of the same object in the image without naively replicating the number of outputs for each instance. In this work, we propose a saliency-inspired neural network model for detection, which predicts a set of class-agnostic bounding boxes along with a single score for each box, corresponding to its likelihood of containing any object of interest. The model naturally handles a variable number of instances for each class and allows for cross-class generalization at the highest levels of the network. We are able to obtain competitive recognition performance on VOC2007 and ILSVRC2012, while using only the top few predicted locations in each image and a small number of neural network evaluations. View details
    Intriguing properties of neural networks
    Christian Szegedy
    Wojciech Zaremba
    Ilya Sutskever
    Joan Bruna
    Ian Goodfellow
    Rob Fergus
    International Conference on Learning Representations (2014)
    Preview abstract Deep neural networks are highly expressive models that have recently achieved state of the art performance on speech and visual recognition tasks. While their expressiveness is the reason they succeed, it also causes them to learn uninterpretable solutions that could have counter-intuitive properties. In this paper we report two such properties. First, we find that there is no distinction between individual high level units and random linear combinations of high level units, according to various methods of unit analysis. It suggests that it is the space, rather than the individual units, that contains of the semantic information in the high layers of neural networks. Second, we find that deep neural networks learn input-output mappings that are fairly discontinuous to a significant extend. We can cause the network to misclassify an image by applying a certain imperceptible perturbation, which is found by maximizing the network's prediction error. In addition, the specific nature of these perturbations is not a random artifact of learning: the same perturbation can cause a different network, that was trained on a different subset of the dataset, to misclassify the same input. View details
    Deep Neural Networks for Object Detection
    Christian Szegedy
    Alexander Toshev
    Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (2013)
    Preview
    Preview abstract Object recognition and localization are important tasks in computer vision. The focus of this work is the incorporation of contextual information in order to improve object recognition and localization. For instance, it is natural to expect not to see an elephant to appear in the middle of an ocean. We consider a simple approach to encapsulate such common sense knowledge using co-occurrence statistics from web documents. By merely counting the number of times nouns (such as elephants, sharks, oceans, etc.) co-occur in web documents, we obtain a good estimate of expected co-occurrences in visual data. We then cast the problem of combining textual co-occurrence statistics with the predictions of image-based classifiers as an optimization problem. The resulting optimization problem serves as a surrogate for our inference procedure. Albeit the simplicity of the resulting optimization problem, it is effective in improving both recognition and localization accuracy. Concretely, we observe significant improvements in recognition and localization rates for both ImageNet Detection 2012 and Sun 2012 datasets. View details
    Why does Unsupervised Pre-training Help Deep Learning?
    Yoshua Bengio
    Aaron Courville
    Pierre-Antoine Manzagol
    Pascal Vincent
    Samy Bengio
    Journal of Machine Learning Research (2010), pp. 625-660
    Preview abstract Much recent research has been devoted to learning algorithms for deep architectures such as Deep Belief Networks and stacks of auto-encoder variants, with impressive results obtained in several areas, mostly on vision and language data sets. The best results obtained on supervised learning tasks involve an unsupervised learning component, usually in an unsupervised pre-training phase. Even though these new algorithms have enabled training deep models, many questions remain as to the nature of this difficult learning problem. The main question investigated here is the following: how does unsupervised pre-training work? Answering this questions is important if learning in deep architectures is to be further improved. We propose several explanatory hypotheses and test them through extensive simulations. We empirically show the influence of pre-training with respect to architecture depth, model capacity, and number of training examples. The experiments confirm and clarify the advantage of unsupervised pre-training. The results suggest that unsupervised pre-training guides the learning towards basins of attraction of minima that support better generalization from the training data set; the evidence from these results supports a regularization explanation for the effect of pre-training. View details
    The Difficulty of Training Deep Architectures and the Effect of Unsupervised Pre-Training
    Pierre-Antoine Manzagol
    Yoshua Bengio
    Samy Bengio
    Pascal Vincent
    Twelfth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS), JMLR Workshop and Conference Procedings (2009), pp. 153-160
    Preview abstract Whereas theoretical work suggests that deep architectures might be more efficient at representing highly-varying functions, training deep architectures was unsuccessful until the recent advent of algorithms based on unsupervised pre-training. Even though these new algorithms have enabled training deep models, many questions remain as to the nature of this difficult learning problem. Answering these questions is important if learning in deep architectures is to be further improved. We attempt to shed some light on these questions through extensive simulations. The experiments confirm and clarify the advantage of unsupervised pre-training. They demonstrate the robustness of the training procedure with respect to the random initialization, the positive effect of pre-training in terms of optimization and its role as a regularizer. We empirically show the influence of pre-training with respect to architecture depth, model capacity, and number of training examples. View details
    Zero-data learning of new tasks
    Yoshua Bengio
    Proceedings of the 23rd AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (2008)
    An empirical evaluation of deep architectures on problems with many factors of variation
    Aaron Courville
    James Bergstra
    Yoshua Bengio
    Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Machine Learning (2007)