Understanding the impact of mistakes on background regions in crowd counting

By Davide Modolo, Bing Shuai, Rahul Rama Varior, Joseph Tighe
2021
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Abstract
In crowd counting we often observe wrong predictions on image regions not containing any person. But how often do these mistakes happen and how much do they affect the overall performance? In this paper we analyze this problem in depth and present an extensive analysis on five of the most important crowd counting datasets. We present this analysis in two parts. First, we quantify the number of mistakes made. Our results show that (i) mistakes on background are substantial and they are responsible for 18-49% of the total error, (ii) models do not generalize well to different kinds of backgrounds and perform poorly on completely background images, and (iii) models make many more mistakes than those captured by the standard Mean Absolute Error (MAE) metric, as counting on background compensates substantially for misses on foreground. And second, we quantify the performance change gained by helping the model better deal with this problem. We enrich a popular crowd counting network with a segmentation branch trained to suppress background predictions. This simple addition (i) reduces background error by 10-83%, (ii) reduces foreground error by up to 26% and (iii) improves overall crowd counting performance up to 20%. When compared against the literature, this simple technique achieves very competitive results on all datasets, showing the importance of tackling the background problem.
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The AWS Applications team builds powerful, intuitive, and market-defining business and productivity applications to help our customers stay ahead of their changing business needs, and remove the burden of undifferentiated heavy lifting that business users go through daily. These applications leverage the power of machine learning and the large ecosystem of AWS services such as SageMaker, AWS Lambda, Amazon S3, and Amazon QuickSight to provide a truly frustration-free, easy-to-use, extensible, and natural customer experience. We are hiring for a new data science team in AWS Applications to focus on solving problems at massive scale. This is a unique green-field chance to join a new team, and has tremendous opportunity for career growth.Joining the AWS Apps team gives you the opportunity to:· Solve challenging problems and help customers modernize their core IT applications· Work for a company that’s a recognized leader in the cloud computing space· Have direct impact on hundreds of thousands of users of AWS Apps services· Be involved in the fast growing big data space – learn from the expertsWhat you will do hereWe are looking for a seasoned applied scientist with expertise in mathematical optimization to join the team. In this position, you will play a pivotal role in building the brain behind AWS applications. You will be responsible for building models, prototypes, simulations, and state-of-the-art optimization algorithms that can scale across several product lines. You will advise and closely collaborate with product and engineering teams to develop innovative products that disrupt established industries. In this role, you will also work closely with the renowned machine learning and optimization community at Amazon.The successful candidate must have exceptional analytical skills and demonstrated experience developing and implementing machine learning and optimization solutions in organizations. We are looking for a proven ability to execute both strategically and tactically, and someone who is excited to take on new, ambiguous projects that will be industry defining. As a senior science leader on the team, your specific responsibilities will include:· Understand customer problems and define solutions for optimization challenges in new product areas· Develop scalable mathematical models to help customers derive optimal or near-optimal solutions· Prototype and implement new learning algorithms and prediction techniques· Create simulations to test devised solutions· Advise and collaborate with product and engineering teams to design and implement software solutions for machine learning and optimization problems· Help hire and build a growing science community in the AWS Applications spaceWhat you will get from us:We are a team that cares about work-life balance, while challenging ourselves to solve problems at AWS scale. You will join a strong team in a fast-paced, start-up environment where agile development is embraced and innovation is encouraged. You will get support and resources from some of the smartest people in the industry to continue your personal and professional growth. You'll be joining a diverse, fun, collaborative team with an inclusive and trusting culture that love working together towards a common goal and making history in launching new strategic services in the industry.
US, WA, Seattle
Are you excited about powering Amazon’s physical stores’ expansion through economic models? Do you thrive in a fast-moving, innovative environment that values data-driven decision making and sound scientific practices? We are looking for PhD Economists to build the next level of economic models that will help Amazon physical stores grow and succeed.Our team is responsible for building the core intelligence, insights, and algorithms that support the real estate acquisition strategies for Amazon physical stores. We are tackling cutting-edge, complex problems such as predicting the optimal location for new Amazon stores by bringing together numerous data assets from disparate sources inside and outside of Amazon, and using best-in-class modelling solutions to extract the most information out of them.You will have a proven track-record of delivering measurable benefit to business through strategic analysis, model building, and/or development of new software. You will be comfortable handling complex economic problems and making the right modeling tradeoffs by applying strong economic reasoning. You will be able to break down complex information and insights into clear and concise language and be comfortable presenting your findings to audiences with a broad range of backgrounds.Amazon is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation.
US, MA, North Reading
Robotics Applied Scientist Intern (Westborough, North Reading MA)Are you a MS or PhD student interested in the fields of Computer Vision, Robotics, Machine Learning and Deep Learning and capable of diving deep into hard technical problems and coming up with insightful solutions that enable successful products? Are you unafraid of taking on a mind-bending challenge that really will improve peoples' lives in a meaningful way? Would you love to get access to large datasets with billions of images and video to build large-scale machine learning systems? Are you a finisher who can deliver robust, production-quality code that solves complex, real-world problems in ways that delight customers?If this describes you, come join the Computer Vision teams at Amazon Robotics. Our teams are using computer vision, machine learning, and real-time and distributed systems to create solutions for problems that impact millions of people. A Computer Vision Scientist at Amazon Robotics will translate business and functional requirements into quick prototypes or proofs of concept. Comfort with a high degree of ambiguity and ability to solve problems that haven’t been solved to scale before are essential.Amazon Robotics is seeking talented and motivated interns to develop solutions for controling and optimizing mobile-robotic fulfillment systems used by Amazon.com operations. Our problems span autonomous movement, object identification, grasping, path planning, and action understanding. This position will report to the Amazon Robotics functional manager most closely aligned with the candidate’s skillset and project work. Each intern will have an assigned technical mentor throughout the internship, as well as 1-1 guidance from their manager, and will work closely with other engineers.Amazon Robotics internship opportunities will be based virtually or in the Greater Boston Area, in our two state-of-the-art facilities in Westborough and North Reading, MA. Both campuses provide a unique opportunity for interns to have direct access to robotics testing labs and manufacturing facilities.Amazon internships are full-time (40 hours/week) for 12 or more consecutive weeks with start dates between May and June 2021.
US, NY, New York
Amazon is building a world class advertising business and defining and delivering a collection of self-service performance advertising products that drive discovery and sales of merchandise. Our products are strategically important to our Retail and Marketplace businesses driving long term growth. We deliver billions of ad impressions and millions of clicks daily and are breaking fresh ground to create world-class products. We are highly motivated, collaborative and fun-loving with an entrepreneurial spirit and bias for action. With a broad mandate to experiment and innovate, we are growing at an unprecedented rate with a seemingly endless range of new opportunities.Sponsored Products helps merchants, retail vendors, and brand owners succeed via native advertising that grows incremental sales of their products sold through Amazon. The Sponsored Products Ad Marketplace organization optimizes the systems and ad placements to match advertiser demand with publisher supply using a combination of machine learning, big data analytics, ultra-low latency high-volume engineering systems, and quantitative product focus. Our systems and algorithms operate on one of the world's largest product catalogs, matching shoppers with products - with a high relevance bar and strict latency constraints. Our goals are to help buyers discover new products they love, be the most efficient way for advertisers to meet their business objectives, and to build a major, sustainable business that helps Amazon continuously innovate on behalf of all customers.As an Applied Scientist for the Sponsored Products Detail Page Allocation and Pricing team, you develop systems which make the final decision on which ads to show, where to place them on the page and how many ads to place. This also includes selection of various themes that would appear in detail pages. This is a challenging technical and business problem, which requires us to balance the interests of advertisers, shoppers, and Amazon. You'll develop a data-driven product strategy to define the right quantitative measures of shopper impact, using this to evaluate decisions and opportunities. You'll balance a portfolio of pragmatic and long-term investments to drive long term growth of the ads and retail businesses. You'll develop real-time algorithms to allocate billions of ads per day in advertising auctions.Job Responsibilities:· Build machine learning models and utilize data analysis to deliver scalable solutions to business problems.· Run A/B experiments, gather data, and perform statistical analysis.· Establish scalable, efficient, automated processes for large-scale data analysis, machine-learning model development, model validation and serving.· Work closely with software engineers on detailed requirements, technical designs and implementation of end-to-end solutions in production.· Research new machine learning approaches.Impact and Career Growth:In this role you will have significant impact on this team as well as drive cross team projects that consist of Applied Scientists, Data Scientists, Economists, and Software Development Engineers. This is a highly visible role that will help take our products to the next level. You will work alongside many of the best and brightest science and engineering talent and the work you deliver will have a direct impact on customers and revenue!Why you love this opportunity:Amazon is investing heavily in building a world class advertising business and we are responsible for defining and delivering a collection of self-service performance advertising products that drive discovery and sales. Our products are strategically important to our Retail and Marketplace businesses driving long term growth. We deliver billions of ad impressions and millions of clicks daily and are breaking fresh ground to create world-class products. We are highly motivated, collaborative and fun-loving with an entrepreneurial spirit and bias for action. With a broad mandate to experiment and innovate, we are growing at an unprecedented rate with a seemingly endless range of new opportunities.Team video ~ https://youtu.be/zD_6Lzw8raE