Long-Term Ensemble Learning for Cross-Season Visual Place Classification
Xiaoxiao Fei, Kanji Tanaka, Yichu Fang, and Akitaka Takayama
University of Fukui
3-9-1 Bunkyo, Fukui, Fukui 910-8507, Japan
This paper addresses the problem of cross-season visual place classification (VPC) from the novel perspective of long-term map learning. Our goal is to enable transfer learning efficiently from one season to the next, at a small constant cost, and without wasting the robot’s available long-term-memory by memorizing very large amounts of training data. To achieve a good tradeoff between generalization and specialization abilities, we employ an ensemble of deep convolutional neural network (DCN) classifiers and consider the task of scheduling (when and which classifiers to retrain), given a previous season’s DCN classifiers as the sole prior knowledge. We present a unified framework for retraining scheduling and we discuss practical implementation strategies. Furthermore, we address the task of partitioning a robot’s workspace into places to define place classes in an unsupervised manner, as opposed to using uniform partitioning, so as to maximize VPC performance. Experiments using the publicly available NCLT dataset revealed that retraining scheduling of a DCN classifier ensemble is crucial in achieving a good balance between generalization and specialization. Additionally, it was found that the performance is significantly improved when using planned scheduling.
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