Why it matters: The neural processing involved in visually recognizing even the simplest object in a natural environment is profound---and profoundly difficult to mimic. Neuroscientists have made broad advances in understanding the visual system, but much of the inner workings of biologically-based systems remain a mystery.
Using Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) -- the same technology video game designers use to render life-like graphics – MIT and Harvard researchers are now making progress faster than ever before. “We made a powerful computing system that delivers over hundred fold speed-ups relative to conventional methods,” said Nicolas Pinto, a PhD candidate in James DiCarlo’s lab at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. “With this extra computational power, we can discover new vision models that traditional methods miss.” Pinto co-authored the PLoS study with David Cox of the Visual Neuroscience Group at the Rowland Institute at Harvard.
How they did it: Harnessing the processing power of dozens of high-performance NVIDIA graphics cards and PlayStation 3s gaming devices, the team designed a high-throughput screening process to tease out the best parameters for visual object recognition tasks. The resulting model outperformed a crop of state-of-the-art vision systems across a range of tests -- more accurately identifying a range of objects on random natural backgrounds with variation in position, scale, and rotation. Had the team used conventional computational tools, the one-week screening phase would have taken over two years to complete.
Next steps: The researchers say that their high-throughput approach could be applied to other areas of computer vision, such as face identification, object tracking, pedestrian detection for automotive applications, and gesture and action recognition. Moreover, as scientists better understand what components make a good artificial vision system, they can use these hints to better understand the human brain as well.
Watch how the MIT/Harvard researchers are finding a better way for computers to 'see' : http://www.rowland.harvard.edu/rjf/cox/plos_video.html
Source: Pinto N, Doukhan D, DiCarlo JJ, Cox DD. A high-throughput screening approach to good forms of biologically-inspired visual representation. PLoS Computational Biology. Nov 26 2009. Read the article here: http://www.ploscompbiol.org/doi/pcbi.1000579
Funding: National Institutes of Health, McKnight Endowment for Neuroscience, Jerry and Marge Burnett, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, and the Rowland Institute at Harvard. Hardware support provided by the NVIDIA Corporation.
Jen Hirsch | Newswise Science News
CiViQ brings quantum technologies to the telecommunications arena
21.11.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI
Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize
19.11.2018 | University of Tokyo
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences