Event cameras are bio-inspired sensors that respond to per-pixel brightness changes in the form of asynchronous and sparse "events". Recently, pattern recognition algorithms, such as learning-based methods, have made significant progress with event cameras by converting events into synchronous dense, image-like representations and applying traditional machine learning methods developed for standard cameras. However, these approaches discard the spatial and temporal sparsity inherent in event data at the cost of higher computational complexity and latency. In this work, we present a general framework for converting models trained on synchronous image-like event representations into asynchronous models with identical output, thus directly leveraging the intrinsic asynchronous and sparse nature of the event data. We show both theoretically and experimentally that this drastically reduces the computational complexity and latency of high-capacity, synchronous neural networks without sacrificing accuracy. In addition, our framework has several desirable characteristics: (i) it exploits spatio-temporal sparsity of events explicitly, (ii) it is agnostic to the event representation, network architecture, and task, and (iii) it does not require any train-time change, since it is compatible with the standard neural networks' training process. We thoroughly validate the proposed framework on two computer vision tasks: object detection and object recognition. In these tasks, we reduce the computational complexity up to 20 times with respect to high-latency neural networks. At the same time, we outperform state-of-the-art asynchronous approaches up to 24% in prediction accuracy.
Nico Messikommer*, Daniel Gehrig*, Antonio Loquercio, and Davide Scaramuzza
European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2020.
Our research page on event based vision: http://rpg.ifi.uzh.ch/research_dvs.html
Our research page on machine learning: http://rpg.ifi.uzh.ch/research_learning.html
For event-camera datasets, see here:
and here: https://github.com/uzh-rpg/event-based_vision_resources#datasets
For an event camera simulator: http://rpg.ifi.uzh.ch/esim/index.html
For a survey paper on event cameras, see here:
Other resources on event cameras (publications, software, drivers, where to buy, etc.):
The authors are with the Robotics and Perception Group, Dep. of Informatics, University of Zurich, and Dep. of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Switzerland