CMU Advanced Perception Seminar, Spring 1999


Table of Contents

Class Format

The Advanced Perception course is a graduate reading seminar, meeting once a week to discuss a set of papers covering a specific topic in computer vision and perception. We will look at historically important papers in field, as well as current papers from recent conferences and journals. By reading a mixture of both types of papers, we will be able to trace the development of some the fundamental ideas that make up current-day research.

Each week, two papers on a particular topic will be assigned. After reading them, your must find a third paper on your own that is relevant to the topic (for example, in Week 2 you will find a paper on edge extraction, published in a conference proceedings or archival journal). Finally, you will write a short critique/essay (3-4 pages) on the topic area based on the three papers you have read. This essay will be handed in for grading. During class, each of the two assigned papers will be presented by one of the students (one student per paper, assigned the week before). This is expected to be a formal 20 minute presentation in front of the class, using transparancies. The presentation will then evolve into a class discussion on the topic covered in the paper. The instructors are responsible for keeping the discussion in a fruitful vein and making sure all students get a chance to participate. The instructors are also responsible for making sure that the important points are touched upon during the discussion, which will sometimes mean asking questions of the class, and for making sure that each paper is covered (which sometimes means cutting off discussion and moving on).

At the end of the class, we will go around the room asking each of you to cite the third paper you have personally chosen for that week, very briefly describe it (1 minute), tell us why you picked it (i.e. how does it relate to the topic area and the two assigned papers), and finally whether or not you would recommend that paper for others to read.

What Should be in a Critique?

The critiques you write will provide a short summary and analysis of the technical papers you have read each week. Critique writing is an important component of the class, and serves several goals: to give you practice in technical writing, to concretely organize your ideas in preparation for class discussion, and to develop the skills necessary to become a good conference/journal paper referee. Furthermore, getting in the habit of writing critiques of the papers you have read will help you do better research - a good critique provides a concise summary that you can refer to later without having to dig out and read the original work, and can provide a written starting point for the obligatory literature review section of your own papers/thesis. To help provide you with a sense for what goes into a critique, see the handout `The Task of the Referee,' by Alan Jay Smith, particularly the section entitled `Evaluating a Research Paper.'

We have found that it is helpful to us, when grading critiques, to have them all follow a consistent format. We ask you to hand in critiques with roughly the following sections (in this order):

  1. Reviewer: your name and the date
  2. Citation: the title, author, year, and publication citation of the three papers you are reviewing
  3. A one paragraph summary (abstract) of the topic area. Why is it important?
  4. A short overview of each paper including a) key ideas, b) technical approaches and c) results.
  5. Comparison of the papers, including strong points and weak points of each. How would you rank each paper relative to the others?
  6. Questions and issues

We will grade critiques on a three-level scale: check-minus, check, check-plus. Above average resourcefulness, initiative, creativity and depth of analysis will get a check-plus. Missing any required sections (1-6) or obvious lack of effort on any of them results in a check-minus.

Pay attention to your speling and grammar of English. :-)

Grading Policy

You will be graded on the following items:
1. Written Critiques(40%)
2. Oral Presentations(20%)
3. Class Participation(20%)
4. Take-Home Final(20%)
5. Extra Credit(10%)
110% total

Written critiques form the highest-weighted category, as they represent the bulk of the work that you will be performing (aside from reading the papers themselves). Each critique will be graded based on your demonstration that you know what that week's papers are about and have carefully considered their technical approaches and reported results. We are particularly interested in how well you compare and contrast the three papers that you read that week.

Oral presentation refers to the formal presentation of a paper in front of the class. Depending on class size, you will be giving roughly two-three oral paper presentations during the semester. To make it more like a real conference presentation, your talk will be strictly timed to be 20 minutes long. We suggest you carefully organize and prioritize what you want to say, and maybe even practice it once with a watch.

Class participation is rather hard to judge objectively (but we are going to try). We highly encourage you to participate in class discussion, and indeed, this type of class will be a complete failure if people don't speak up with their opinions. On the other hand, we don't wish to penalize folks who aren't naturally talkative. We will try to ensure that even soft-spoken people get a chance to air their opinions, and will attempt to grade based on the insightfulness of your comments, rather than the frequency or volume.

There will be a take-home final exam. It will involve writing!

The extra credit category will reflect both objective evidence and subjective impressions we receive that indicate you are genuinely putting in a lot of effort. Anything you do (of a professional nature, related to this class) that makes us like you better, will increase your extra credit score.

Computer Vision Resources

There are many places to go to look for computer vision papers, ranging from archival journals to on-line web sites. Here is a list of our favorite sources of material:

Archival Journals

Conference Proceedings

WWW Resources

Overview of Topics by Week (Selections subject to change)

Week 1: Introduction and Explanation

Introduction; explanation of class format and logistics. Instructors talk about computer vision resources, and why particular papers were selected for this course. Discussion of how to write a critique, give a presentation, and find relevant research papers.

Week 2. Feature Extraction I: Edge Extraction

(Reminder: read these two and also find a third related paper on your own.)

Week 2 Third Papers (selected by the students):

Week 3. Feature Extraction II: Region/Volume Segmentation

Week 3 Third Papers (selected by the students):

Week 4. Feature Extraction III: Active Contours

Week 4 Third Papers (selected by the students):

Week 5. Object Recognition

Week 5 Third Papers (selected by the students):

Week 6. Volumetric Registration

Week 7. Projective Geometry

The following two papers will be treated as one, for the purposes of critiquing/presenting:

Week 8. Symmetry and Perceptio

The following two papers will be treated as one, for the purposes of critiquing/presenting:

Week 9. Stabilization And Mosaicing

Week 10. Egomotion and Structure from Motion

Week 11. New View Synthesis

Week 12. Range Imaging

Week 13. Auditory Sensing