I am a forth year Computer Science Ph.D. student and university assistant at Graz University of Technology under the supervision of Horst Bischof. My research focuses on low-level computer vision, pose estimation and 3D computer vision with the common theme of applying novel machine learning techniques, e.g. deep learning, to tackle those problems. Beside my research activities, I am responsible for two practical computer vision courses and a seminar on advanced pattern recognition.
In this paper, we present a learning based approach to depth fusion, i.e., dense 3D reconstruction from multiple depth images. The most common approach to depth fusion is based on averaging truncated signed distance functions, which was originally proposed by Curless and Levoy in 1996. While this method is simple and provides great results, it is not able to reconstruct (partially) occluded surfaces and requires a large number frames to filter out sensor noise and outliers. Motivated by the availability of large 3D model repositories and recent advances in deep learning, we present a novel 3D CNN architecture that learns to predict an implicit surface representation from the input depth maps. Our learning based method significantly outperforms the traditional volumetric fusion approach in terms of noise reduction and outlier suppression. By learning the structure of real world 3D objects and scenes, our approach is further able to reconstruct occluded regions and to fill in gaps in the reconstruction. We demonstrate that our learning based approach outperforms both vanilla TSDF fusion as well as TV-L1 fusion on the task of volumetric fusion. Further, we demonstrate state-of-the-art 3D shape completion results.
We present OctNet, a representation for deep learning with sparse 3D data. In contrast to existing models, our representation enables 3D convolutional networks which are both deep and high resolution. Towards this goal, we exploit the sparsity in the input data to hierarchically partition the space using a set of unbalanced octrees where each leaf node stores a pooled feature representation. This allows to focus memory allocation and computation to the relevant dense regions and enables deeper networks without compromising resolution. We demonstrate the utility of our OctNet representation by analyzing the impact of resolution on several 3D tasks including 3D object classification, orientation estimation and point cloud labeling.
In this paper we present a novel method to increase the spatial resolution of depth images. We combine a deep fully convolutional network with a non-local variational method in a deep primal-dual network. The joint network computes a noise-free, high-resolution estimate from a noisy, low-resolution input depth map. Additionally, a high-resolution intensity image is used to guide the reconstruction in the network. By unrolling the optimization steps of a first-order primal-dual algorithm and formulating it as a network, we can train our joint method end-to-end. This not only enables us to learn the weights of the fully convolutional network, but also to optimize all parameters of the variational method and its optimization procedure. The training of such a deep network requires a large dataset for supervision. Therefore, we generate high-quality depth maps and corresponding color images with a physically based renderer. In an exhaustive evaluation we show that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art on multiple benchmarks.
In this work we present a novel approach for single depth map super-resolution. Modern consumer depth sensors, especially Time-of-Flight sensors, produce dense depth measurements, but are affected by noise and have a low lateral resolution. We propose a method that combines the benefits of recent advances in machine learning based single image super-resolution, i.e. deep convolutional networks, with a variational method to recover accurate high-resolution depth maps. In particular, we integrate a variational method that models the piecewise affine structures apparent in depth data via an anisotropic total generalized variation regularization term on top of a deep network. We call our method ATGV-Net and train it end-to-end by unrolling the optimization procedure of the variational method. To train deep networks, a large corpus of training data with accurate ground-truth is required. We demonstrate that it is feasible to train our method solely on synthetic data that we generate in large quantities for this task. Our evaluations show that we achieve state-of-the-art results on three different benchmarks, as well as on a challenging Time-of-Flight dataset, all without utilizing an additional intensity image as guidance.
While many recent hand pose estimation methods critically rely on a training set of labelled frames, the creation of such a dataset is a challenging task that has been overlooked so far. As a result, existing datasets are limited to a few sequences and individuals, with limited accuracy, and this prevents these methods from delivering their full potential. We propose a semi-automated method for efficiently and accurately labeling each frame of a hand depth video with the corresponding 3D locations of the joints: The user is asked to provide only an estimate of the 2D reprojections of the visible joints in some reference frames, which are automatically selected to minimize the labeling work by efficiently optimizing a sub-modular loss function. We then exploit spatial, temporal, and appearance constraints to retrieve the full 3D poses of the hand over the complete sequence. We show that this data can be used to train a recent state-of-the-art hand pose estimation method, leading to increased accuracy.
Single image super-resolution is an important task in the field of computer vision and finds many practical applications. Current state-of-the-art methods typically rely on machine learning algorithms to infer a mapping from low- to high-resolution images. These methods use a single fixed blur kernel during training and, consequently, assume the exact same kernel underlying the image formation process for all test images. However, this setting is not realistic for practical applications, because the blur is typically different for each test image. In this paper, we loosen this restrictive constraint and propose conditioned regression models (including convolutional neural networks and random forests) that can effectively exploit the additional kernel information during both, training and inference. This allows for training a single model, while previous methods need to be re-trained for every blur kernel individually to achieve good results, which we demonstrate in our evaluations. We also empirically show that the proposed conditioned regression models (i) can effectively handle scenarios where the blur kernel is different for each image and (ii) outperform related approaches trained for only a single kernel.
An important initial step in many medical image analysis applications is the accurate detection of anatomical landmarks. Most successful methods for this task rely on data-driven machine learning algorithms. However, modern machine learning techniques, e.g. convolutional neural networks, need a large corpus of training data, which is often an unrealistic setting for medical datasets.In this work, we investigate how to adapt synthetic image datasets from other computer vision tasks to overcome the under-representation of the anatomical pose and shape variations in medical image datasets. We transform both data domains to a common one in such a way that a convolutional neural network can be trained on the larger synthetic image dataset and fine-tuned on the smaller medical image dataset. Our evaluations on data of MR hand and whole body CT images demonstrate that this approach improves the detection results compared to training a convolutional neural network only on the medical data. The proposed approach may also be usable in other medical applications, where training data is scarce.
Denoising and upscaling of depth maps is a fundamental post-processing step for handling the output of depth sensors, since many applications that rely on depth data require accurate estimates to reach optimal accuracy. Adapting methods for denoising and upscaling to specific types of depth sensors is a cumbersome and error-prone task due to their complex noise characteristics. In this work we propose a model for denoising and upscaling of depth maps that adapts to the characteristics of a given sensor in a data-driven manner. We introduce a non-local Global Regression Model which models the inherent smoothness of depth maps. The Global Regression Model is parametrized by a Convolutional Neural Network, which is able to extract a rich set of features from the available input data. The structure of the model enables a complex parametrization, which can be jointly learned end-to-end and eliminates the need to explicitly model the signal formation process and the noise characteristics of a given sensor.Our experiments show that the proposed approach outperforms state-of-the-art methods, is efficient to compute and can be trained in a fully automatic way.
We present a novel method for an automatic calibration of modern consumer Time-of-Flight cameras. Usually, these sensors come equipped with an integrated color camera. Albeit they deliver acquisitions at high frame rates they usually suffer from incorrect calibration and low accuracy due to multiple error sources. Using information from both cameras together with a simple planar target, we will show how to accurately calibrate both color and depth camera and tackle most error sources inherent to Time-of-Flight technology in a unified calibration framework. Automatic feature detection minimizes user interaction during calibration. We utilize a Random Regression Forest to optimize the manufacturer supplied depth measurements. We show the improvements to commonly used depth calibration methods in a qualitative and quantitative evaluation on multiple scenes acquired by an accurate reference system for the application of dense 3D reconstruction.
We present in this paper a framework for articulated hand pose estimation and evaluation. Within this framework we implemented recently published methods for hand segmentation and inference of hand postures. We further propose a new approach for the segmentation and extend existing convolutional network based inference methods. Additionally, we created a new dataset that consists of a synthetically generated training set and accurately annotated test sequences captured with two different consumer depth cameras. The evaluation shows that we can improve with our methods the state-of-the-art. To foster further research, we will make all sources and the complete dataset used in this work publicly available.
In this paper we present a novel method to accurately estimate the dense 3D motion field, known as scene flow, from depth and intensity acquisitions. The method is formulated as a convex energy optimization, where the motion warping of each scene point is estimated through a projection and back-projection directly in 3D space. We utilize higher order regularization which is weighted and directed according to the input data by an anisotropic diffusion tensor. Our formulation enables the calculation of a dense flow field which does not penalize smooth and non-rigid movements while aligning motion boundaries with strong depth boundaries. An efficient parallelization of the numerical algorithm leads to runtimes in the order of 1s and therefore enables the method to be used in a variety of applications. We show that this novel scene flow calculation outperforms existing approaches in terms of speed and accuracy. Furthermore, we demonstrate applications such as camera pose estimation and depth image superresolution, which are enabled by the high accuracy of the proposed method. We show these applications using modern depth sensors such as Microsoft Kinect or the PMD Nano Time-of-Flight sensor.
We present a novel method for dense variational scene flow estimation based a multiscale Ternary Census Transform in combination with a patchwise Closest Points depth data term. On the one hand, the Ternary Census Transform in the intensity data term is capable of handling illumination changes, low texture and noise. On the other hand, the patchwise Closest Points search in the depth data term increases the robustness in low structured regions. Further, we utilize higher order regularization which is weighted and directed according to the input data by an anisotropic diffusion tensor. This allows to calculate a dense and accurate flow field which supports smooth as well as non-rigid movements while preserving flow boundaries. The numerical algorithm is solved based on a primal-dual formulation and is efficiently parallelized to run at high frame rates. In an extensive qualitative and quantitative evaluation we show that this novel method for scene flow calculation outperforms existing approaches. The method is applicable to any sensor delivering dense depth and intensity data such as Microsoft Kinect or Intel Gesture Camera.
We present Hough Networks: a novel method that combines the idea of Hough Forests with Convolutional Neural Networks. Similar to Hough Forests, we perform a simultaneous classification and regression on densely-extracted image patches. But instead of a Random Forest we utilize a CNN which is capable of learning higher-order feature representations and does not rely on any handcrafted features. Applying a CNN at patch level allows the segmentation of the image into foreground and background. Furthermore, the structure of a CNN supports efficient inference of patches extracted from a regular grid. We evaluate the proposed Huogh Networks on two computer vision tasks: head pose estimation and facial feature localization. Our method achieves at least state-of-the-art performance without sacrificing versatility which allows extension to many other applications.
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