Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) google
Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) has been a frequent topic of research due to many practical applications. However, many of the current solutions are still not robust in real-world situations, commonly depending on many constraints. This paper presents a robust and efficient ALPR system based on the state-of-the-art YOLO object detection. The Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are trained and fine-tuned for each ALPR stage so that they are robust under different conditions (e.g., variations in camera, lighting, and background). Specially for character segmentation and recognition, we design a two-stage approach employing simple data augmentation tricks such as inverted License Plates (LPs) and flipped characters. The resulting ALPR approach achieved impressive results in two datasets. First, in the SSIG dataset, composed of 2,000 frames from 101 vehicle videos, our system achieved a recognition rate of 93.53% and 47 Frames Per Second (FPS), performing better than both Sighthound and OpenALPR commercial systems (89.80% and 93.03%, respectively) and considerably outperforming previous results (81.80%). Second, targeting a more realistic scenario, we introduce a larger public dataset, called UFPR-ALPR dataset, designed to ALPR. This dataset contains 150 videos and 4,500 frames captured when both camera and vehicles are moving and also contains different types of vehicles (cars, motorcycles, buses and trucks). In our proposed dataset, the trial versions of commercial systems achieved recognition rates below 70%. On the other hand, our system performed better, with recognition rate of 78.33% and 35 FPS. …

PaloBoost google
Stochastic Gradient TreeBoost is often found in many winning solutions in public data science challenges. Unfortunately, the best performance requires extensive parameter tuning and can be prone to overfitting. We propose PaloBoost, a Stochastic Gradient TreeBoost model that uses novel regularization techniques to guard against overfitting and is robust to parameter settings. PaloBoost uses the under-utilized out-of-bag samples to perform gradient-aware pruning and estimate adaptive learning rates. Unlike other Stochastic Gradient TreeBoost models that use the out-of-bag samples to estimate test errors, PaloBoost treats the samples as a second batch of training samples to prune the trees and adjust the learning rates. As a result, PaloBoost can dynamically adjust tree depths and learning rates to achieve faster learning at the start and slower learning as the algorithm converges. We illustrate how these regularization techniques can be efficiently implemented and propose a new formula for calculating feature importance to reflect the node coverages and learning rates. Extensive experimental results on seven datasets demonstrate that PaloBoost is robust to overfitting, is less sensitivity to the parameters, and can also effectively identify meaningful features. …

K-Beam Subgradient Descent google
Minimax optimization plays a key role in adversarial training of machine learning algorithms, such as learning generative models, domain adaptation, privacy preservation, and robust learning. In this paper, we demonstrate the failure of alternating gradient descent in minimax optimization problems due to the discontinuity of solutions of the inner maximization. To address this, we propose a new epsilon-subgradient descent algorithm that addresses this problem by simultaneously tracking K candidate solutions. Practically, the algorithm can find solutions that previous saddle-point algorithms cannot find, with only a sublinear increase of complexity in K. We analyze the conditions under which the algorithm converges to the true solution in detail. A significant improvement in stability and convergence speed of the algorithm is observed in simple representative problems, GAN training, and domain-adaptation problems. …

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