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Physion++: Evaluating Physical Scene Understanding that Requires Online Inference of Different Physical Properties
Hsiao-Yu Tung · Mingyu Ding · Zhenfang Chen · Daniel Bear · Chuang Gan · Josh Tenenbaum · Dan Yamins · Judith Fan · Kevin Smith

Thu Dec 14 03:00 PM -- 05:00 PM (PST) @ Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 #533
Event URL: https://dingmyu.github.io/physion_v2/ »

General physical scene understanding requires more than simply localizing and recognizing objects -- it requires knowledge that objects can have different latent properties (e.g., mass or elasticity), and that those properties affect the outcome of physical events. While there has been great progress in physical and video prediction models in recent years, benchmarks to test their performance typically do not require an understanding that objects have individual physical properties, or at best test only those properties that are directly observable (e.g., size or color). This work proposes a novel dataset and benchmark, termed Physion++, that rigorously evaluates visual physical prediction in artificial systems under circumstances where those predictions rely on accurate estimates of the latent physical properties of objects in the scene. Specifically, we test scenarios where accurate prediction relies on estimates of properties such as mass, friction, elasticity, and deformability, and where the values of those properties can only be inferred by observing how objects move and interact with other objects or fluids. We evaluate the performance of a number of state-of-the-art prediction models that span a variety of levels of learning vs. built-in knowledge, and compare that performance to a set of human predictions. We find that models that have been trained using standard regimes and datasets do not spontaneously learn to make inferences about latent properties, but also that models that encode objectness and physical states tend to make better predictions. However, there is still a huge gap between all models and human performance, and all models' predictions correlate poorly with those made by humans, suggesting that no state-of-the-art model is learning to make physical predictions in a human-like way. These results show that current deep learning models that succeed in some settings nevertheless fail to achieve human-level physical prediction in other cases, especially those where latent property inference is required. Project page: https://dingmyu.github.io/physion_v2/

Author Information

Hsiao-Yu Tung (Carnegie Mellon University)
Mingyu Ding (UC Berkeley)
Zhenfang Chen (The University of Hong Kong)
Daniel Bear (Stanford University)
Chuang Gan (UMass Amherst/ MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab)
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).

Dan Yamins
Judith Fan (Stanford University)
Kevin Smith (MIT)

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