G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)
Geometric data understanding : deriving case specific features

List of Authors: Nevalainen. Paavo
Publisher: Turku Centre for Computer Science
Place: Turku
Publication year: 2018


There exists a tradition using precise geometric modeling, where uncertainties in data can be considered noise. Another tradition relies on statistical nature of vast quantity of data, where geometric regularity is intrinsic to data and statistical models usually grasp this level only indirectly. This work focuses on point cloud data of natural resources and the silhouette recognition from video input as two real world examples of problems having geometric content which is intangible at the raw data presentation. 

This content could be discovered and modeled to some degree by such machine learning (ML) approaches like deep learning, but either a direct coverage of geometry in samples or addition of special geometry invariant layer is necessary. Geometric content is central when there is a need for direct observations of spatial variables, or one needs to gain a mapping to a geometrically consistent data representation, where e.g. outliers or noise can be easily discerned. 

In this thesis we consider transformation of original input data to a geometric feature space in two example problems. The first example is curvature of surfaces, which has met renewed interest since the introduction of ubiquitous point cloud data and the maturation of the discrete differential geometry. Curvature spectra can characterize a spatial sample rather well, and provide useful features for ML purposes. The second example involves projective methods used to video stereo-signal analysis in swimming analytics. 

The aim is to find meaningful local geometric representations for feature generation, which also facilitate additional analysis based on geometric understanding of the model. The features are associated directly to some geometric quantity, and this makes it easier to express the geometric constraints in a natural way, as shown in the thesis. Also, the visualization and further feature generation is much easier. Third, the approach provides sound baseline methods to more traditional ML approaches, e.g. neural network methods. Fourth, most of the ML methods can utilize the geometric features presented in this work as additional features.

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Last updated on 2019-30-01 at 00:39