Feature discovery and visualization of robot mission data using convolutional autoencoders and Bayesian nonparametric topic models
Author(s)Girdhar, Yogesh; Flaspohler, Genevieve Elaine; Roy, Nicholas
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© 2017 IEEE. The gap between our ability to collect interesting data and our ability to analyze these data is growing at an unprecedented rate. Recent algorithmic attempts to fill this gap have employed unsupervised tools to discover structure in data. Some of the most successful approaches have used probabilistic models to uncover latent thematic structure in discrete data. Despite the success of these models on textual data, they have not generalized as well to image data, in part because of the spatial and temporal structure that may exist in an image stream. We introduce a novel unsupervised machine learning framework that incorporates the ability of convolutional autoencoders to discover features from images that directly encode spatial information, within a Bayesian nonparametric topic model that discovers meaningful latent patterns within discrete data. By using this hybrid framework, we overcome the fundamental dependency of traditional topic models on rigidly hand-coded data representations, while simultaneously encoding spatial dependency in our topics without adding model complexity. We apply this model to the motivating application of high-level scene understanding and mission summarization for exploratory marine robots. Our experiments on a seafloor dataset collected by a marine robot show that the proposed hybrid framework outperforms current state-of-the-art approaches on the task of unsupervised seafloor terrain characterization.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Flaspohler, Genevieve, Nicholas Roy, and Yogesh Girdhar. “Feature Discovery and Visualization of Robot Mission Data Using Convolutional Autoencoders and Bayesian Nonparametric Topic Models.” 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (September 2017).
Author's final manuscript