Gradient Dynamics of Shallow Univariate ReLU Networks (NeurIPS 2019)


We present a theoretical and empirical study of the gradient dynamics of overparameterized shallow ReLU networks with one-dimensional input, solving least-squares interpolation. We show that the gradient dynamics of such networks are determined by the gradient flow in a non-redundant parameterization of the network function. We examine the principal qualitative features of this gradient flow. In particular, we determine conditions for two learning regimes:kernel and adaptive, which depend both on the relative magnitude of initialization of weights in different layers and the asymptotic behavior of initialization coefficients in the limit of large network widths. We show that learning in the kernel regime yields smooth interpolants, minimizing curvature, and reduces to cubic splines for uniform initializations. Learning in the adaptive regime favors instead linear splines, where knots cluster adaptively at the sample points.


Deep Geometric Prior for Surface Reconstruction (CVPR 2019)


The reconstruction of a discrete surface from a point cloud is a fundamental geometry processing problem that has been studied for decades, with many methods developed. We propose the use of a deep neural network as a geometric prior for surface reconstruction. Specifically, we overfit a neural network representing a local chart parameterization to part of an input point cloud using the Wasserstein distance as a measure of approximation. By jointly fitting many such networks to overlapping parts of the point cloud, while enforcing a consistency condition, we compute a manifold atlas. By sampling this atlas, we can produce a dense reconstruction of the surface approximating the input cloud. The entire procedure does not require any training data or explicit regularization, yet, we show that it is able to perform remarkably well: not introducing typical overfitting artifacts, and approximating sharp features closely at the same time. We experimentally show that this geometric prior produces good results for both man-made objects containing sharp features and smoother organic objects, as well as noisy inputs. We compare our method with a number of well-known reconstruction methods on a standard surface reconstruction benchmark.


ABC: A Big CAD Model Dataset For Geometric Deep Learning (CVPR 2019)


We introduce ABC-Dataset, a collection of one million Computer-Aided Design (CAD) models for research of geometric deep learning methods and applications. Each model is a collection of explicitly parametrized curves and surfaces, providing ground truth for differential quantities, patch segmentation, geometric feature detection, and shape reconstruction. Sampling the parametric descriptions of surfaces and curves allows generating data in different formats and resolutions, enabling fair comparisons for a wide range of geometric learning algorithms. As a use case for our dataset, we perform a large-scale benchmark for estimation of surface normals, comparing existing data driven methods and evaluating their performance against both the ground truth and traditional normal estimation methods.


Unwind: Interactive Fish Straightening (Preprint)


The ScanAllFish project is a large-scale effort to scan all the world’s 33,100 known species of fishes. It has already generated thousands of volumetric CT scans of fish species which are available on open access platforms such as the Open Science Framework. To achieve a scanning rate required for a project of this magnitude, many specimens are grouped together into a single tube and scanned all at once. The resulting data contain many fish which are often bent and twisted to fit into the scanner. Our system, Unwind, is a novel interactive visualization and processing tool which extracts, unbends, and untwists volumetric images of fish with minimal user interaction. Our approach enables scientists to interactively unwarp these volumes to remove the undesired torque and bending using a piecewise-linear skeleton extracted by averaging isosurfaces of a harmonic function connecting the head and tail of each fish. The result is a volumetric dataset of a individual, straight fish in a canonical pose defined by the marine biologist expert user. We have developed Unwind in collaboration with a team of marine biologists: Our system has been deployed in their labs, and is presently being used for dataset construction, biomechanical analysis, and the generation of figures for scientific publication.