Authors: Andres Camillo Ussa Caycedo, Luca Della Vedova, Vandana Reddy Padala, Deepak Singla, Jyotibdha Acharya, Charles Zhang Lei, Garrick Orchard, Arindam Basu, Bharath Ramesh

Abstract: With the success of deep learning, object recognition systems that can be deployed for real-world applications are becoming commonplace. However, inference that needs to largely take place on the ‘edge’ (not processed on servers), is a highly computational and memory intensive workload, making it intractable for low-power mobile nodes and remote security applications. To address this challenge, this paper proposes a low-power (5W) end-to-end neuromorphic framework for object tracking and classification using event-based cameras that possess desirable properties such as low power consumption (5-14 mW) and high dynamic range (120 dB). Nonetheless, unlike traditional approaches of using event-by-event processing, this work uses a mixed frame and event approach to get energy savings with high performance. Using a frame-based region proposal method based on the density of foreground events, a hardware-friendly object tracking is implemented using the apparent object velocity while tackling occlusion scenarios. For low-power classification of the tracked objects, the event camera is interfaced to IBM TrueNorth, which is time-multiplexed to tackle up to eight instances for a traffic monitoring application. The frame-based object track input is converted back to spikes for Truenorth classification via the energy efficient deep network (EEDN) pipeline. Using originally collected datasets, we train the TrueNorth model on the hardware track outputs, instead of using ground truth object locations as commonly done, and demonstrate the efficacy of our system to handle practical surveillance scenarios. Finally, we compare the proposed methodologies to state-of-the-art event-based systems for object tracking and classification, and demonstrate the use case of our neuromorphic approach for low-power applications without sacrificing on performance.

Comments: Presented at BMVC 2019: ODRSS 2019 Workshop on Object Detection and Recognition for Security Screening, Cardiff, UK.
Cite as: Paper (PDF): ODRSS2019_P_2_Caycedo.pdf