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VASC Seminar: Rob Fergus
Visualizing Convolutional Neural Networks

Rob Fergus
Assistant Professor, New York University

April 29, 2013, 3pm - 4pm, NSH 1507

Large Convolutional Neural Network models have recently demonstrated impressive classification performance on the ImageNet benchmark (Krizhevsky et al. [12]). However there is no clear understanding of why they perform so well, or how they might be improved. In this paper we address both issues. We introduce a novel visualization technique that gives insight into the function of intermediate feature layers and the operation of the classifier. Used in a diagnostic role, these visualizations allow us to find model architectures that outperform Krizhevsky et al. on the ImageNet classification benchmark. We also perform an ablation study to discover the performance contribution from different model layers. We show our ImageNet model generalizes well to other datasets: when the softmax classifier is retrained, it convincingly beats the current state-of-the-art results on Caltech-101 and Caltech-256 datasets.

Joint work with my student Matt Zeiler.

Speaker Biography

Rob Fergus is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University. He received a Masters in Electrical Engineering with Prof. Pietro Perona at Caltech, before completing a PhD with Prof. Andrew Zisserman at the University of Oxford in 2005. Before coming to NYU, he spent two years as a post-doc in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT, working with Prof. William Freeman. He has received several awards including a CVPR best paper prize (2003), a Sloan Fellowship (2011) and an NSF Career award (2012).