Abstract-A distinctive feature of intelligent systems is their capability to analyze their level of expertise for a given task; in other words, they know what they know. As a way towards this ambitious goal, this paper presents a recognition algorithm able to measure its own level of confidence and, in case of uncertainty, to seek for extra information so to increase its own knowledge and ultimately achieve better performance. We focus on the visual place recognition problem for topological localization, and we take an SVM approach. We propose a new method for measuring the confidence level of the classification output, based on the distance of a test image and the average distance of training vectors. This method is combined with a discriminative accumulation scheme for cue integration. We show with extensive experiments that the resulting algorithm achieves better performances for two visual cues than the classic single cue SVM on the same task, while minimising the computational load. More important, our method provides a reliable measure of the level of confidence of the decision.
Abstract-An important competence for a mobile robot system is the ability to localize and perform context interpretation. This is required to perform basic navigation and to facilitate local specific services. Usually localization is performed based on a purely geometric model. Through use of vision and place recognition a number of opportunities open up in terms of flexibility and association of semantics to the model. To achieve this the present paper presents an appearance based method for place recognition. The method is based on a large margin classifier in combination with a rich global image descriptor. The method is robust to variations in illumination and minor scene changes. The method is evaluated across several different cameras, changes in time-of-day and weather conditions. The results clearly demonstrate the value of the approach.
Abstract-Localization and context interpretation are two key competences for mobile robot systems. Visual place recognition, as opposed to purely geometrical models, holds promise of higher flexibility and association of semantics to the model. Ideally, a place recognition algorithm should be robust to dynamic changes and it should perform consistently when recognizing a room (for instance a corridor) in different geographical locations. Also, it should be able to categorize places, a crucial capability for transfer of knowledge and continuous learning. In order to test the suitability of visual recognition algorithms for these tasks, this paper presents a new database, acquired in three different labs across Europe. It contains image sequences of several rooms under dynamic changes, acquired at the same time with a perspective and omnidirectional camera, mounted on a socket. We assess this new database with an appearancebased algorithm that combines local features with support vector machines through an ad-hoc kernel. Results show the effectiveness of the approach and the value of the database.
A long-standing goal of AI is to enable robots to plan in the face of uncertain and incomplete information, and to handle task failure intelligently. This paper shows how to achieve this. There are two central ideas. The first idea is to organize the robot's knowledge into three layers: instance knowledge at the bottom, commonsense knowledge above that, and diagnostic knowledge on top. Knowledge in a layer above can be used to modify knowledge in the layer(s) below. The second idea is that the robot should represent not just how its actions change the world, but also what it knows or believes. There are two types of knowledge effects the robot's actions can have: epistemic effects (I believe X because I saw it) and assumptions (I'll assume X to be true). By combining the knowledge layers with the models of knowledge effects, we can simultaneously solve several problems in robotics: (i) task planning and execution under uncertainty; (ii) task planning and execution in open worlds; (iii) explaining task failure; (iv) verifying those explanations. The paper describes how the ideas are implemented in a three-layer architecture on a mobile robot platform. The robot implementation was evaluated in five different experiments on object search, mapping, and room categorization.
In this paper, we study the problem of active visual search (AVS) in large, unknown, or partially known environments. We argue that by making use of uncertain semantics of the environment, a robot tasked with finding an object can devise efficient search strategies that can locate everyday objects at the scale of an entire building floor, which is previously unknown to the robot. To realize this, we present a probabilistic model of the search environment, which allows for prioritizing the search effort to those parts of the environment that are most promising for a specific object type. Further, we describe a method for reasoning about the unexplored part of the environment for goal-directed exploration with the purpose of object search. We demonstrate the validity of our approach by comparing it with two other search systems in terms of search trajectory length and time. First, we implement a greedy coverage-based search strategy that is found in previous work. Second, we let human participants search for objects as an alternative comparison for our method. Our results show that AVS strategies that exploit uncertain semantics of the environment are a very promising idea, and our method pushes the state-of-the-art forward in AVS.Index Terms-Active vision, semantic mapping, visual object search.
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