Feature and Region Selection for Visual Learning

20 Jul 2014  ·  Ji Zhao, Lian-Tao Wang, Ricardo Cabral, Fernando de la Torre ·

Visual learning problems such as object classification and action recognition are typically approached using extensions of the popular bag-of-words (BoW) model. Despite its great success, it is unclear what visual features the BoW model is learning: Which regions in the image or video are used to discriminate among classes? Which are the most discriminative visual words? Answering these questions is fundamental for understanding existing BoW models and inspiring better models for visual recognition. To answer these questions, this paper presents a method for feature selection and region selection in the visual BoW model. This allows for an intermediate visualization of the features and regions that are important for visual learning. The main idea is to assign latent weights to the features or regions, and jointly optimize these latent variables with the parameters of a classifier (e.g., support vector machine). There are four main benefits of our approach: (1) Our approach accommodates non-linear additive kernels such as the popular $\chi^2$ and intersection kernel; (2) our approach is able to handle both regions in images and spatio-temporal regions in videos in a unified way; (3) the feature selection problem is convex, and both problems can be solved using a scalable reduced gradient method; (4) we point out strong connections with multiple kernel learning and multiple instance learning approaches. Experimental results in the PASCAL VOC 2007, MSR Action Dataset II and YouTube illustrate the benefits of our approach.

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