Poster
Shape and Material from Sound
Zhoutong Zhang · Qiujia Li · Zhengjia Huang · Jiajun Wu · Josh Tenenbaum · Bill Freeman

Wed Dec 6th 06:30 -- 10:30 PM @ Pacific Ballroom #146 #None

What can we infer from hearing an object falling onto the ground? Based on knowledge of the physical world, humans are able to infer rich information from such limited data: rough shape of the object, its material, the height of falling, etc. In this paper, we aim to approximate such competency. We first mimic the human knowledge about the physical world using a fast physics-based generative model. Then, we present an analysis-by-synthesis approach to infer properties of the falling object. We further approximate human past experience by directly mapping audio to object properties using deep learning with self-supervision. We evaluate our method through behavioral studies, where we compare human predictions with ours on inferring object shape, material, and initial height of falling. Results show that our method achieves near-human performance, without any annotations.

Author Information

Zhoutong Zhang (MIT)
Qiujia Li (University of Cambridge)
Zhengjia Huang (Shanghaitech)
Jiajun Wu (MIT)

Jiajun Wu is a fifth-year Ph.D. student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, advised by Professor Bill Freeman and Professor Josh Tenenbaum. His research interests lie on the intersection of computer vision, machine learning, and computational cognitive science. Before coming to MIT, he received his B.Eng. from Tsinghua University, China, advised by Professor Zhuowen Tu. He has also spent time working at research labs of Microsoft, Facebook, and Baidu.

Josh Tenenbaum (MIT)

Josh Tenenbaum is an Associate Professor of Computational Cognitive Science at MIT in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He received his PhD from MIT in 1999, and was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University from 1999 to 2002. He studies learning and inference in humans and machines, with the twin goals of understanding human intelligence in computational terms and bringing computers closer to human capacities. He focuses on problems of inductive generalization from limited data -- learning concepts and word meanings, inferring causal relations or goals -- and learning abstract knowledge that supports these inductive leaps in the form of probabilistic generative models or 'intuitive theories'. He has also developed several novel machine learning methods inspired by human learning and perception, most notably Isomap, an approach to unsupervised learning of nonlinear manifolds in high-dimensional data. He has been Associate Editor for the journal Cognitive Science, has been active on program committees for the CogSci and NIPS conferences, and has co-organized a number of workshops, tutorials and summer schools in human and machine learning. Several of his papers have received outstanding paper awards or best student paper awards at the IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), NIPS, and Cognitive Science conferences. He is the recipient of the New Investigator Award from the Society for Mathematical Psychology (2005), the Early Investigator Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists (2007), and the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology (in the area of cognition and human learning) from the American Psychological Association (2008).

Bill Freeman (MIT/Google)

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