Upstream fusion of multiple sensing modalities using machine learning and topological analysis: An initial exploration

Conference Paper

This paper presents a processing pipeline for fusing 'raw' and / or feature-level multi-sensor data - upstream fusion - and initial results from this pipeline using imagery, radar, and radio frequency (RF) signals data to determine which tracked object, among several, hosts an emitter of interest. Correctly making this determination requires fusing data across these modalities. Our approach performs better than standard fusion approaches that make detection / characterization decisions for each modality individually and then try to fuse those decisions - downstream (or post-decision) fusion. Our approach (1) fully exploits the inter-modality dependencies and phenomenologies inherent in different sensing modes, (2) automatically discovers compressive hierarchical representations that integrate structural and statistical characteristics to enhance target / event discriminability, and (3) completely obviates the need to specify features, manifolds, or model scope a priori. This approach comprises a unique synthesis of Deep Learning (DL), topological analysis over probability measure (TAPM), and hierarchical Bayesian non-parametric (HBNP) recognition models. Deep Generative Networks (DGNs - a deep generative statistical form of DL) create probability measures that provide a basis for calculating homologies (topological summaries over the probability measures). The statistics of the resulting persistence diagrams are inputs to HBNP methods that learn to discriminate between target types and distinguish emitting targets from non-emitting targets, for example. HBNP learning obviates batch-mode off-line learning. This approach overcomes the inadequacy of pre-defined features as a means for creating efficient, discriminating, low-dimensional representations from high-dimensional multi-modality sensor data collected under difficult, dynamic sensing conditions. The invariant properties in the resulting compact representations afford multiple compressive sensing benefits, including concise information sharing and enhanced performance. Machine learning makes adaptivity a central feature of our approach. Adaptivity is critical because it enables flexible processing that automatically accommodates a broad range of challenges that non-adaptive, standard fusion approaches would typically require manual intervention to begin to address. These include (a) interest in unknown or unanticipated targets, (b) desire to be rapidly able to fuse between different combinations of sensor modalities, and (c) potential need to transfer information between platforms that host different sensors. This paper presents results that demonstrate our approach enables accurate, real-time target detection, tracking, and recognition of known and unknown moving or stationary targets or events and their activities evolving over space and time.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Garagić, D; Peskoe, J; Liu, F; Claffey, MS; Bendich, P; Hineman, J; Borggren, N; Harer, J; Zulch, P; Rhodes, BJ

Published Date

  • June 25, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2018-March /

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 8

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1095-323X

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781538620144

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1109/AERO.2018.8396737

Citation Source

  • Scopus