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Robot semantic place recognition based on deep belief networks and a direct use of tiny images

Abstract : Usually, human beings are able to quickly distinguish between different places, solely from their visual appearance. This is due to the fact that they can organize their space as composed of discrete units. These units, called ``semantic places'', are characterized by their spatial extend and their functional unity. Such a semantic category can thus be used as contextual information which fosters object detection and recognition. Recent works in semantic place recognition seek to endow the robot with similar capabilities. Contrary to classical localization and mapping works, this problem is usually addressed as a supervised learning problem. The question of semantic places recognition in robotics - the ability to recognize the semantic category of a place to which scene belongs to - is therefore a major requirement for the future of autonomous robotics. It is indeed required for an autonomous service robot to be able to recognize the environment in which it lives and to easily learn the organization of this environment in order to operate and interact successfully. To achieve that goal, different methods have been already proposed, some based on the identification of objects as a prerequisite to the recognition of the scenes, and some based on a direct description of the scene characteristics. If we make the hypothesis that objects are more easily recognized when the scene in which they appear is identified, the second approach seems more suitable. It is however strongly dependent on the nature of the image descriptors used, usually empirically derived from general considerations on image coding.Compared to these many proposals, another approach of image coding, based on a more theoretical point of view, has emerged the last few years. Energy-based models of feature extraction based on the principle of minimizing the energy of some function according to the quality of the reconstruction of the image has lead to the Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs) able to code an image as the superposition of a limited number of features taken from a larger alphabet. It has also been shown that this process can be repeated in a deep architecture, leading to a sparse and efficient representation of the initial data in the feature space. A complex problem of classification in the input space is thus transformed into an easier one in the feature space. This approach has been successfully applied to the identification of tiny images from the 80 millions image database of the MIT. In the present work, we demonstrate that semantic place recognition can be achieved on the basis of tiny images instead of conventional Bag-of-Word (BoW) methods and on the use of Deep Belief Networks (DBNs) for image coding. We show that after appropriate coding a softmax regression in the projection space is sufficient to achieve promising classification results. To our knowledge, this approach has not yet been investigated for scene recognition in autonomous robotics. We compare our methods with the state-of-the-art algorithms using a standard database of robot localization. We study the influence of system parameters and compare different conditions on the same dataset. These experiments show that our proposed model, while being very simple, leads to state-of-the-art results on a semantic place recognition task.
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Ahmad Hasasneh. Robot semantic place recognition based on deep belief networks and a direct use of tiny images. Other [cs.OH]. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012PA112298⟩. ⟨tel-00960289⟩

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