Colloquium Details

Qualitative Data-driven Image Understanding

Speaker: Alyosha Efros, Carnegie Mellon University

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: December 9, 2011, 11:30 a.m.

Host: Denis Zorin


Reasoning about a scene from a photograph is an inherently ambiguous task. This is because a single image in itself does not carry enough information to disambiguate the world that it is depicting. Of course, people have no trouble understanding photographs because of all the prior visual experience they can bring to bear on the task. Moreover, there is strong evidence that human visual perception is largely qualitative in nature -- less a measuring device than a mechanism for offering "hints" to the internal visual representation.

For computer vision, the questions of representation and the right use of prior visual data seem to be paramount if we are to approach human-level image understanding performance. In this talk, I will present a high-level overview of our efforts in qualitative scene representations and data-driven approaches for addressing a number of difficult image understanding tasks. In the first part of the talk, I will show some results on inferring geometric and photometric scene properties from a single image. In the second part, I will describe the use of visual association in large image datasets as a way of providing visual understanding beyond "object naming".

Speaker Bio:

Alexei "Alyosha" Efros is an associate professor at the Robotics Institute and the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. His research is in the area of computer vision and computer graphics, especially at the intersection of the two. He is particularly interested in using data-driven techniques to tackle problems which are very hard to model parametrically but where large quantities of data are readily available. Alyosha received his PhD in 2003 from UC Berkeley under Jitendra Malik and spent the following year as a post-doctoral fellow in Andrew Zisserman's group in Oxford, England. Alyosha is a recipient of CVPR Best Paper Award (2006), NSF CAREER award (2006), Sloan Fellowship (2008), Guggenheim Fellowship (2008), Okawa Grant (2008), Finmeccanica Career Development Chair (2010), SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award (2010), and ECCV Best Paper Honorable Mention (2010).


Refreshments will be offered starting 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the talk.

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