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AVLEN: Audio-Visual-Language Embodied Navigation in 3D Environments
Sudipta Paul · Amit Roy-Chowdhury · Anoop Cherian

Tue Nov 29 02:00 PM -- 04:00 PM (PST) @ Hall J #625

Recent years have seen embodied visual navigation advance in two distinct directions: (i) in equipping the AI agent to follow natural language instructions, and (ii) in making the navigable world multimodal, e.g., audio-visual navigation. However, the real world is not only multimodal, but also often complex, and thus in spite of these advances, agents still need to understand the uncertainty in their actions and seek instructions to navigate. To this end, we present AVLEN -- an interactive agent for Audio-Visual-Language Embodied Navigation. Similar to audio-visual navigation tasks, the goal of our embodied agent is to localize an audio event via navigating the 3D visual world; however, the agent may also seek help from a human (oracle), where the assistance is provided in free-form natural language. To realize these abilities, AVLEN uses a multimodal hierarchical reinforcement learning backbone that learns: (a) high-level policies to choose either audio-cues for navigation or to query the oracle, and (b) lower-level policies to select navigation actions based on its audio-visual and language inputs. The policies are trained via rewarding for the success on the navigation task while minimizing the number of queries to the oracle. To empirically evaluate AVLEN, we present experiments on the SoundSpaces framework for semantic audio-visual navigation tasks. Our results show that equipping the agent to ask for help leads to a clear improvement in performances, especially in challenging cases, e.g., when the sound is unheard during training or in the presence of distractor sounds.

Author Information

Sudipta Paul (University of California, Riverside)
Amit Roy-Chowdhury (University of California, Riverside)

Amit Roy-Chowdhury received his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) in 2002 and joined the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in 2004 where he is a Professor and Bourns Family Faculty Fellow of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Director of the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, and Cooperating Faculty in the department of Computer Science and Engineering. He leads the Video Computing Group at UCR, working on foundational principles of computer vision, image processing, and statistical learning, with applications in cyber-physical, autonomous and intelligent systems. He has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. He is the first author of the book Camera Networks: The Acquisition and Analysis of Videos Over Wide Areas. He is on the editorial boards of major journals and program committees of the main conferences in his area. His students have been first authors on multiple papers that received Best Paper Awards at major international conferences, including ICASSP and ICMR. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and IAPR, received the Doctoral Dissertation Advising/Mentoring Award 2019 from UCR, and the ECE Distinguished Alumni Award from UMCP.

Anoop Cherian (MERL)

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