Welcome to the Publications page of MindGarage, the Deep Learning lab at RPTU Kaiserslautern. Our team has published numerous papers in top-tier conferences and journals, covering a wide range of topics in the field of Deep Learning. Browse our list of publications below, and click on any publication card to learn more about it. If you're interested in collaborating with us on any of our research projects, please don't hesitate to reach out using the contact form.

Journal Papers

  • Hussain et al. (2023). Development of Cost-Effective and Easily Replicable Robust Weeding Machine—Premiering Precision Agriculture in Pakistan. Machines. Weed management has become a highly labor-intensive activity, which is the reason for decreased yields and high costs. Moreover, the lack of skilled labor and weed-resistant herbicides severely impact the agriculture sector and food production, hence increasing the need for automation in agriculture. The use of agricultural robots will help in the assurance of higher yields and proactive control of the crops. This study proposes a laser-based weeding vehicle with a unique mechanical body that is adjustable relative to the field structure, called the Robot Operating System (ROS) based robust control system, and is customizable, cost-effective and easily replicable. Hence, an autonomous-mobile-agricultural robot with a 20 watt laser has been developed for the precise removal of weed plants. The assembled robot's testing was conducted in the agro living lab. The field trials have demonstrated that the robot takes approximately 23.7 h at the linear velocity of 0.07 m/s for the weeding of one acre plot. It includes 5 s of laser to kill one weed plant. Comparatively, the primitive weeding technique is highly labor intensive and takes several days to complete an acre plot area. The data presented herein reflects that implementing this technology could become an excellent approach to removing unwanted plants from agricultural fields. This solution is relatively cost-efficient and provides an alternative to expensive human labor initiatives to deal with the increased labor wages.
  • Kanchi et al. (2022). EmmDocClassifier: Efficient Multimodal Document Image Classifier for Scarce Data. Applied Sciences. Document classification is one of the most critical steps in the document analysis pipeline. There are two types of approaches for document classification, known as image-based and multimodal approaches. Image-based document classification approaches are solely based on the inherent visual cues of the document images. In contrast, the multimodal approach co-learns the visual and textual features, and it has proved to be more effective. Nonetheless, these approaches require a huge amount of data. This paper presents a novel approach for document classification that works with a small amount of data and outperforms other approaches. The proposed approach incorporates a hierarchical attention network (HAN) for the textual stream and the EfficientNet-B0 for the image stream. The hierarchical attention network in the textual stream uses dynamic word embedding through fine-tuned BERT. HAN incorporates both the word level and sentence level features. While earlier approaches rely on training on a large corpus (RVL-CDIP), we show that our approach works with a small amount of data (Tobacco-3482). To this end, we trained the neural network at Tobacco-3482 from scratch. Therefore, we outperform the state-of-the-art by obtaining an accuracy of 90.3%. This results in a relative error reduction rate of 7.9%.
  • Hashmi et al. (2022). Exploiting Concepts of Instance Segmentation to Boost Detection in Challenging Environments. Sensors. In recent years, due to the advancements in machine learning, object detection has become a mainstream task in the computer vision domain. The first phase of object detection is to find the regions where objects can exist. With the improvements in deep learning, traditional approaches, such as sliding windows and manual feature selection techniques, have been replaced with deep learning techniques. However, object detection algorithms face a problem when performed in low light, challenging weather, and crowded scenes, similar to any other task. Such an environment is termed a challenging environment. This paper exploits pixel-level information to improve detection under challenging situations. To this end, we exploit the recently proposed hybrid task cascade network. This network works collaboratively with detection and segmentation heads at different cascade levels. We evaluate the proposed methods on three complex datasets of ExDark, CURE-TSD, and RESIDE, and achieve a mAP of 0.71, 0.52, and 0.43, respectively. Our experimental results assert the efficacy of the proposed approach.
  • Kallempudi et al. (2022). Toward Semi-Supervised Graphical Object Detection in Document Images. Future Internet. The graphical page object detection classifies and localizes objects such as Tables and Figures in a document. As deep learning techniques for object detection become increasingly successful, many supervised deep neural network-based methods have been introduced to recognize graphical objects in documents. However, these models necessitate a substantial amount of labeled data for the training process. This paper presents an end-to-end semi-supervised framework for graphical object detection in scanned document images to address this limitation. Our method is based on a recently proposed Soft Teacher mechanism that examines the effects of small percentage-labeled data on the classification and localization of graphical objects. On both the PubLayNet and the IIIT-AR-13K datasets, the proposed approach outperforms the supervised models by a significant margin in all labeling ratios (1%, 5%, and 10%). Furthermore, the 10% PubLayNet Soft Teacher model improves the average precision of Table, Figure, and List by +5.4,+1.2, and +3.2 points, respectively, with a similar total mAP as the Faster-RCNN baseline. Moreover, our model trained on 10% of IIIT-AR-13K labeled data beats the previous fully supervised method +4.5 points.
  • Naik et al. (2022). Investigating Attention Mechanism for Page Object Detection in Document Images. Applied Sciences. Page object detection in scanned document images is a complex task due to varying document layouts and diverse page objects. In the past, traditional methods such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR)-based techniques have been employed to extract textual information. However, these methods fail to comprehend complex page objects such as tables and figures. This paper addresses the localization problem and classification of graphical objects that visually summarize vital information in documents. Furthermore, this work examines the benefit of incorporating attention mechanisms in different object detection networks to perform page object detection on scanned document images. The model is designed with a Pytorch-based framework called Detectron2. The proposed pipelines can be optimized end-to-end and exhaustively evaluated on publicly available datasets such as DocBank, PublayNet, and IIIT-AR-13K. The achieved results reflect the effectiveness of incorporating the attention mechanism for page object detection in documents.
  • Khan et al. (2022). Three-Dimensional Reconstruction from a Single RGB Image Using Deep Learning: A Review. J. Imaging. Performing 3D reconstruction from a single 2D input is a challenging problem that is trending in literature. Until recently, it was an ill-posed optimization problem, but with the advent of learning-based methods, the performance of 3D reconstruction has also significantly improved. Infinitely many different 3D objects can be projected onto the same 2D plane, which makes the reconstruction task very difficult. It is even more difficult for objects with complex deformations or no textures. This paper serves as a review of recent literature on 3D reconstruction from a single view, with a focus on deep learning methods from 2018 to 2021. Due to the lack of standard datasets or 3D shape representation methods, it is hard to compare all reviewed methods directly. However, this paper reviews different approaches for reconstructing 3D shapes as depth maps, surface normals, point clouds, and meshes; along with various loss functions and metrics used to train and evaluate these methods.
  • Minouei et al. (2022). Continual Learning for Table Detection in Document Images. Applied Sciences. The growing amount of data demands methods that can gradually learn from new samples. However, it is not trivial to continually train a network. Retraining a network with new data usually results in a phenomenon called “catastrophic forgetting”. In a nutshell, the performance of the model on the previous data drops by learning from the new instances. This paper explores this issue in the table detection problem. While there are multiple datasets and sophisticated methods for table detection, the utilization of continual learning techniques in this domain has not been studied. We employed an effective technique called experience replay and performed extensive experiments on several datasets to investigate the effects of catastrophic forgetting. The results show that our proposed approach mitigates the performance drop by 15 percent. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that continual learning techniques have been adopted for table detection, and we hope this stands as a baseline for future research.
  • Khan et al. (2022). A Comprehensive Survey of Depth Completion Approaches. Sensors. Depth maps produced by LiDAR-based approaches are sparse. Even high-end LiDAR sensors produce highly sparse depth maps, which are also noisy around the object boundaries. Depth completion is the task of generating a dense depth map from a sparse depth map. While the earlier approaches focused on directly completing this sparsity from the sparse depth maps, modern techniques use RGB images as a guidance tool to resolve this problem. Whilst many others rely on affinity matrices for depth completion. Based on these approaches, we have divided the literature into two major categories; unguided methods and image-guided methods. The latter is further subdivided into multi-branch and spatial propagation networks. The multi-branch networks further have a sub-category named image-guided filtering. In this paper, for the first time ever we present a comprehensive survey of depth completion methods. We present a novel taxonomy of depth completion approaches, review in detail different state-of-the-art techniques within each category for depth completion of LiDAR data, and provide quantitative results for the approaches on KITTI and NYUv2 depth completion benchmark datasets.
  • Shehzadi et al. (2022). Mask-Aware Semi-Supervised Object Detection in Floor Plans. Applied Sciences. Research has been growing on object detection using semi-supervised methods in past few years. We examine the intersection of these two areas for floor-plan objects to promote the research objective of detecting more accurate objects with less labeled data. The floor-plan objects include different furniture items with multiple types of the same class, and this high inter-class similarity impacts the performance of prior methods. In this paper, we present Mask R-CNN-based semi-supervised approach that provides pixel-to-pixel alignment to generate individual annotation masks for each class to mine the inter-class similarity. The semi-supervised approach has a student–teacher network that pulls information from the teacher network and feeds it to the student network. The teacher network uses unlabeled data to form pseudo-boxes, and the student network uses both label data with the pseudo boxes and labeled data as the ground truth for training. It learns representations of furniture items by combining labeled and label data. On the Mask R-CNN detector with ResNet-101 backbone network, the proposed approach achieves a mAP of 98.8%, 99.7%, and 99.8% with only 1%, 5% and 10% labeled data, respectively. Our experiment affirms the efficiency of the proposed approach, as it outperforms the previous semi-supervised approaches using only 1% of the labels.
  • Nazir et al. (2022). SemAttNet: Toward Attention-Based Semantic Aware Guided Depth Completion. IEEE Access. Depth completion involves recovering a dense depth map from a sparse map and an RGB image. Recent approaches focus on utilizing color images as guidance images to recover depth at invalid pixels. However, color images alone are not enough to provide the necessary semantic understanding of the scene. Consequently, the depth completion task suffers from sudden illumination changes in RGB images (e.g., shadows). In this paper, we propose a novel three-branch backbone comprising color-guided, semantic-guided, and depth-guided branches. Specifically, the color-guided branch takes a sparse depth map and RGB image as an input and generates color depth which includes color cues (e.g., object boundaries) of the scene. The predicted dense depth map of color-guided branch along-with semantic image and sparse depth map is passed as input to semantic-guided branch for estimating semantic …

Conference Papers

  • Khan et al. (2023). Learning Attention Propagation for Compositional Zero-Shot Learning. WACV. Compositional zero-shot learning aims to recognize unseen compositions of seen visual primitives of object classes and their states. While all primitives (states and objects) are observable during training in some combination, their complex interaction makes this task especially hard. For example, wet changes the visual appearance of a dog very differently from a bicycle. Furthermore, we argue that relationships between compositions go beyond shared states or objects. A cluttered office can contain a busy table; even though these compositions don't share a state or object, the presence of a busy table can guide the presence of a cluttered office. We propose a novel method called Compositional Attention Propagated Embedding (CAPE) as a solution. The key intuition to our method is that a rich dependency structure exists between compositions arising from complex interactions of primitives in addition to other dependencies between compositions. CAPE learns to identify this structure and propagates knowledge between them to learn class embedding for all seen and unseen compositions. In the challenging generalized compositional zero-shot setting, we show that our method outperforms previous baselines to set a new state-of-the-art on three publicly available benchmarks.
  • Hashmi et al. (2023). BoxMask: Revisiting Bounding Box Supervision for Video Object Detection. WACV. We present a new, simple yet effective approach to uplift video object detection. We observe that prior works operate on instance-level feature aggregation that imminently neglects the refined pixel-level representation, resulting in confusion among objects sharing similar appearance or motion characteristics. To address this limitation, we pro-pose BoxMask, which effectively learns discriminative representations by incorporating class-aware pixel-level information. We simply consider bounding box-level annotations as a coarse mask for each object to supervise our method. The proposed module can be effortlessly integrated into any region-based detector to boost detection. Extensive experiments on ImageNet VID and EPIC KITCHENS datasets demonstrate consistent and significant improvement when we plug our BoxMask module into numerous recent state-of-the-art methods. The code will be available at https://github. com/khurramHashmi/BoxMask.
  • Pontes-Filho et al. (2018). Bidirectional Learning for Robust Neural Networks. IJCNN. A multilayer perceptron can behave as a generative classifier by applying bidirectional learning (BL). It consists of training an undirected neural network to map input to output and vice-versa; therefore it can produce a classifier in one direction, and a generator in the opposite direction for the same data. In this paper, two novel learning techniques are introduced which use BL for improving robustness to white noise static and adversarial examples. The first method is bidirectional propagation of errors, which the error propagation occurs in backward and forward directions. Motivated by the fact that its generative model receives as input a constant vector per class, we introduce as a second method the hybrid adversarial networks (HAN). Its generative model receives a random vector as input and its training is based on generative adversarial networks (GAN). To assess the performance of BL, we perform experiments using several architectures with fully and convolutional layers, with and without bias. Experimental results show that both methods improve robustness to white noise static and adversarial examples, but have different behaviour depending on the architecture and task, being more beneficial to use the one or the other. Nevertheless, HAN using a convolutional architecture with batch normalization presents outstanding robustness, reaching state-of-the-art accuracy on adversarial examples of hand-written digits.
  • Kölsch et al. (2018). Recognizing Challenging Handwritten Annotations with Fully Convolutional Networks. ICFHR. This paper introduces a very challenging dataset of historic German documents and evaluates Fully Convolutional Neural Network (FCNN) based methods to locate handwritten annotations of any kind in these documents. The handwritten annotations can appear in form of underlines and text by using various writing instruments, e.g., the use of pencils makes the data more challenging. We train and evaluate various end-to-end semantic segmentation approaches and report the results. The task is to classify the pixels of documents into two classes: background and handwritten annotation. The best model achieves a mean Intersection over Union (IoU) score of 95.6% on the test documents of the presented dataset. We also present a comparison of different strategies used for data augmentation and training on our presented dataset. For evaluation, we use the Layout Analysis Evaluator for the ICDAR 2017 Competition on Layout Analysis for Challenging Medieval Manuscripts.
  • Afzal et al. (2017). Cutting the Error by Half: Investigation of Very Deep CNN and Advanced Training Strategies for Document Image Classification. ICDAR. We present an exhaustive investigation of recent Deep Learning architectures, algorithms, and strategies for the task of document image classification to finally reduce the error by more than half. Existing approaches, such as the DeepDoc-Classifier, apply standard Convolutional Network architectures with transfer learning from the object recognition domain. The contribution of the paper is threefold: First, it investigates recently introduced very deep neural network architectures (GoogLeNet, VGG, ResNet) using transfer learning (from real images). Second, it proposes transfer learning from a huge set of document images, i.e. 400; 000 documents. Third, it analyzes the impact of the amount of training data (document images) and other parameters to the classification abilities. We use two datasets, the Tobacco-3482 and the large-scale RVL-CDIP dataset. We achieve an accuracy of 91:13% for the Tobacco-3482 dataset while earlier approaches reach only 77:6%. Thus, a relative error reduction of more than 60% is achieved. For the large dataset RVL-CDIP, an accuracy of 90:97% is achieved, corresponding to a relative error reduction of 11:5%.


  • Afzal et al. (2022). DeHyFoNet: Deformable Hybrid Network for Formula Detection in Scanned Document Images. This work presents an approach for detecting mathematical formulas in scanned document images. The proposed approach is end-to-end trainable. Since many OCR engines cannot reliably work with the formulas, it is essential to isolate them to obtain the clean text for information extraction from the document. Our proposed pipeline comprises a hybrid task cascade network with deformable convolutions and a Resnext101 backbone. Both of these modifications help in better detection. We evaluate the proposed approaches on the ICDAR-2017 POD and Marmot datasets and achieve an overall accuracy of 96% for the ICDAR-2017 POD dataset. We achieve an overall reduction of error of 13%. Furthermore, the results on Marmot datasets are improved for the isolated and embedded formulas. We achieved an accuracy of 98.78% for the isolated formula and 90.21% overall accuracy for embedded formulas. Consequently, it results in an error reduction rate of 43% for isolated and 17.9% for embedded formulas.
  • Hashmi et al. (2022). Spatio-Temporal Learnable Proposals for End-to-End Video Object Detection. arXiv. This paper presents the novel idea of generating object proposals by leveraging temporal information for video object detection. The feature aggregation in modern region-based video object detectors heavily relies on learned proposals generated from a single-frame RPN. This imminently introduces additional components like NMS and produces unreliable proposals on low-quality frames. To tackle these restrictions, we present SparseVOD, a novel video object detection pipeline that employs Sparse R-CNN to exploit temporal information. In particular, we introduce two modules in the dynamic head of Sparse R-CNN. First, the Temporal Feature Extraction module based on the Temporal RoI Align operation is added to extract the RoI proposal features. Second, motivated by sequence-level semantic aggregation, we incorporate the attention-guided Semantic Proposal Feature Aggregation module to enhance object feature representation before detection. The proposed SparseVOD effectively alleviates the overhead of complicated post-processing methods and makes the overall pipeline end-to-end trainable. Extensive experiments show that our method significantly improves the single-frame Sparse RCNN by 8%-9% in mAP. Furthermore, besides achieving state-of-the-art 80.3% mAP on the ImageNet VID dataset with ResNet-50 backbone, our SparseVOD outperforms existing proposal-based methods by a significant margin on increasing IoU thresholds (IoU > 0.5).
  • Naeem et al. (2022). I2MVFormer: Large Language Model Generated Multi-View Document Supervision for Zero-Shot Image Classification. arXiv. Recent works have shown that unstructured text (documents) from online sources can serve as useful auxiliary information for zero-shot image classification. However, these methods require access to a high-quality source like Wikipedia and are limited to a single source of information. Large Language Models (LLM) trained on web-scale text show impressive abilities to repurpose their learned knowledge for a multitude of tasks. In this work, we provide a novel perspective on using an LLM to provide text supervision for a zero-shot image classification model. The LLM is provided with a few text descriptions from different annotators as examples. The LLM is conditioned on these examples to generate multiple text descriptions for each class(referred to as views). Our proposed model, I2MVFormer, learns multi-view semantic embeddings for zero-shot image classification with these class views. We show that each text view of a class provides complementary information allowing a model to learn a highly discriminative class embedding. Moreover, we show that I2MVFormer is better at consuming the multi-view text supervision from LLM compared to baseline models. I2MVFormer establishes a new state-of-the-art on three public benchmark datasets for zero-shot image classification with unsupervised semantic embeddings.
  • Dash et al. (2017). TAC-GAN - Text Conditioned Auxiliary Classifier Generative Adversarial Network. arXiv. In this work, we present the Text Conditioned Auxiliary Classifier Generative Adversarial Network, (TAC-GAN) a text to image Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) for synthesizing images from their text descriptions. Former approaches have tried to condition the generative process on the textual data; but allying it to the usage of class information, known to diversify the generated samples and improve their structural coherence, has not been explored. We trained the presented TAC-GAN model on the Oxford-102 dataset of flowers, and evaluated the discriminability of the generated images with Inception-Score, as well as their diversity using the Multi-Scale Structural Similarity Index (MS-SSIM). Our approach outperforms the state-of-the-art models, i.e., its inception score is 3.45, corresponding to a relative increase of 7.8% compared to the recently introduced StackGan. A comparison of the mean MS-SSIM scores of the training and generated samples per class shows that our approach is able to generate highly diverse images with an average MS-SSIM of 0.14 over all generated classes.


At MindGarage, we believe that creativity and innovation are essential for advancing the field of Artificial Intelligence. That's why we provide an open and unconstrained environment for highly motivated students to explore the possibilities of Deep Learning. We encourage freedom of thought and creativity in tackling challenging problems, and we're always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our team. If you're passionate about AI and want to contribute to groundbreaking research in Deep Learning, we invite you to learn more about our lab and our projects.


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