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Oral Session

Oral 6C Vision

Room R02-R05 (level 2)
Thu 14 Dec 1:20 p.m. PST — 2:20 p.m. PST


Thu 14 Dec. 13:20 - 13:35 PST

Siamese Masked Autoencoders

Agrim Gupta · Jiajun Wu · Jia Deng · Fei-Fei Li

Establishing correspondence between images or scenes is a significant challenge in computer vision, especially given occlusions, viewpoint changes, and varying object appearances. In this paper, we present Siamese Masked Autoencoders (SiamMAE), a simple extension of Masked Autoencoders (MAE) for learning visual correspondence from videos. SiamMAE operates on pairs of randomly sampled video frames and asymmetrically masks them. These frames are processed independently by an encoder network, and a decoder composed of a sequence of cross-attention layers is tasked with predicting the missing patches in the future frame. By masking a large fraction (95%) of patches in the future frame while leaving the past frame unchanged, SiamMAE encourages the network to focus on object motion and learn object-centric representations. Despite its conceptual simplicity, features learned via SiamMAE outperform state-of-the-art self-supervised methods on video object segmentation, pose keypoint propagation, and semantic part propagation tasks. SiamMAE achieves competitive results without relying on data augmentation, handcrafted tracking-based pretext tasks, or other techniques to prevent representational collapse.

Thu 14 Dec. 13:35 - 13:50 PST

Image Captioners Are Scalable Vision Learners Too

Michael Tschannen · Manoj Kumar · Andreas Steiner · Andreas Steiner · Xiaohua Zhai · Neil Houlsby · Lucas Beyer

Contrastive pretraining on image-text pairs from the web is one of the most popular large-scale pretraining strategies for vision backbones, especially in the context of large multimodal models. At the same time, image captioning on this type of data is commonly considered an inferior pretraining strategy. In this paper, we perform a fair comparison of these two pretraining strategies, carefully matching training data, compute, and model capacity. Using a standard encoder-decoder transformer, we find that captioning alone is surprisingly effective: on classification tasks, captioning produces vision encoders competitive with contrastively pretrained encoders, while surpassing them on vision & language tasks. We further analyze the effect of the model architecture and scale, as well as the pretraining data on the representation quality, and find that captioning exhibits the same or better scaling behavior along these axes. Overall our results show that plain image captioning is a more powerful pretraining strategy than was previously believed. Code is available at

Thu 14 Dec. 13:50 - 14:05 PST

The Surprising Effectiveness of Diffusion Models for Optical Flow and Monocular Depth Estimation

Saurabh Saxena · Charles Herrmann · Junhwa Hur · Abhishek Kar · Mohammad Norouzi · Deqing Sun · David Fleet

Denoising diffusion probabilistic models have transformed image generation with their impressive fidelity and diversity.We show that they also excel in estimating optical flow and monocular depth, surprisingly without task-specific architectures and loss functions that are predominant for these tasks. Compared to the point estimates of conventional regression-based methods, diffusion models also enable Monte Carlo inference, e.g., capturing uncertainty and ambiguity in flow and depth.With self-supervised pre-training, the combined use of synthetic and real data for supervised training, and technical innovations (infilling and step-unrolled denoising diffusion training) to handle noisy-incomplete training data, one can train state-of-the-art diffusion models for depth and optical flow estimation, with additional zero-shot coarse-to-fine refinement for high resolution estimates. Extensive experiments focus on quantitative performance against benchmarks, ablations, and the model's ability to capture uncertainty and multimodality, and impute missing values. Our model obtains a state-of-the-art relative depth error of 0.074 on the indoor NYU benchmark and an Fl-all score of 3.26\% on the KITTI optical flow benchmark, about 25\% better than the best published method.

Thu 14 Dec. 14:05 - 14:20 PST

Spatial-frequency channels, shape bias, and adversarial robustness

Ajay Subramanian · Elena Sizikova · Najib Majaj · Denis Pelli

What spatial frequency information do humans and neural networks use to recognize objects? In neuroscience, critical band masking is an established tool that can reveal the frequency-selective filters used for object recognition. Critical band masking measures the sensitivity of recognition performance to noise added at each spatial frequency. Existing critical band masking studies show that humans recognize periodic patterns (gratings) and letters by means of a spatial-frequency filter (or "channel") that has a frequency bandwidth of one octave (doubling of frequency). Here, we introduce critical band masking as a task for network-human comparison and test 14 humans and 76 neural networks on 16-way ImageNet categorization in the presence of narrowband noise. We find that humans recognize objects in natural images using the same one-octave-wide channel that they use for letters and gratings, making it a canonical feature of human object recognition. Unlike humans, the neural network channel is very broad, 2-4 times wider than the human channel. This means that the network channel extends to frequencies higher and lower than those that humans are sensitive to. Thus, noise at those frequencies will impair network performance and spare human performance. Adversarial and augmented-image training are commonly used to increase network robustness and shape bias. Does this training align network and human object recognition channels? Three network channel properties (bandwidth, center frequency, peak noise sensitivity) correlate strongly with shape bias (51% variance explained) and robustness of adversarially-trained networks (66% variance explained). Adversarial training increases robustness but expands the channel bandwidth even further beyond the human bandwidth. Thus, critical band masking reveals that the network channel is more than twice as wide as the human channel, and that adversarial training only makes it worse. Networks with narrower channels might be more robust.