Robotics: Science and Systems III

Dimensionality Reduction Using Automatic Supervision for Vision-Based Terrain Learning

Anelia Angelova, Larry Matthies, Daniel Helmick, and Pietro Perona

Abstract: This paper considers the problem of learning to recognize different terrains from color imagery in a fully automatic fashion, using the robot's mechanical sensors as supervision. We present a probabilistic framework in which the visual information and the mechanical supervision interact to learn the available terrain types. Within this framework, a novel supervised dimensionality reduction method is proposed, in which the automatic supervision provided by the robot helps select better lower dimensional representations, more suitable for the discrimination task at hand. Incorporating supervision into the dimensionality reduction process is important, as some terrains might be visually similar but induce very different robot mobility. Therefore, choosing a lower dimensional visual representation adequately is expected to improve the vision-based terrain learning and the final classification performance. This is the first work that proposes automatically supervised dimensionality reduction in a probabilistic framework using the supervision coming from the robot's sensors. The proposed method stands in between methods for reasoning under uncertainty using probabilistic models and methods for learning the underlying structure of the data. The proposed approach has been tested on field test data collected by an autonomous robot while driving on soil, gravel and asphalt. Although the supervision might be ambiguous or noisy, our experiments show that it helps build a more appropriate lower dimensional visual representation and achieves improved terrain recognition performance compared to unsupervised learning methods.



    AUTHOR    = {A. Angelova and L. Matthies and D. Helmick and P. Perona},
    TITLE     = {Dimensionality Reduction Using Automatic Supervision for Vision-Based Terrain Learning},
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems},
    YEAR      = {2007},
    ADDRESS   = {Atlanta, GA, USA},
    MONTH     = {June},
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2007.III.029}