Board Games: Learning beyond Simulations

Reinforcement learning algorithms have been successfully trained for games like GO, Atari, and Chess in simulated environments. However, in cue sport-based games like Carrom, real world is unpredictable unlike in Chess and GO due to the stochastic nature of the gameplay as well as the effect of external factors such as friction combined with multiple collisions. Hence, solely training in a simulated platform for games like Billiard and Carrom, which need precise execution of a shot, would not be ideal in actual gameplay. This paper presents a real-time vision based efficient robotic system to play Carrom against a proficient human opponent. We demonstrate the challenges of adopting a reinforcement learning algorithm beyond simulations in implementing strategic gameplay for the robotic system. We currently achieve an overall shot accuracy of 70.6% by combining heuristic and reinforcement learning algorithms. Analysis of the overall results suggests the possibility of adopting a realworld training for board games which need precise mechanical actuation beyond simulations.

Naveen Karunanayake, Achintha Wijesinghe, Chameera Wijethunga, Chinthani Kumaradasa, Peshala Jayasekara, and Ranga Rodrigo, "Towards a Smart Opponent for Board Games: Learning beyond Simulations," in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Toronto, CA (virtual), 2020, pp. 1--8.

Context-Aware Occlusion Removal

In this work, we identify objects that do not relate to the image context as occlusions and remove them, reconstructing the space occupied coherently. We detect occlusions by considering the relation between foreground and background object classes represented by vector embeddings, and removes them through inpainting. Notice how the skier has been automatically removed.

Kumara Kahatapitiya, Dumindu Tissera, and Ranga Rodrigo, "Context-Aware Automatic Occlusion Removal," in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, Taipei, Taiwan, September 2019, pp. 1--4.

Extensions to Capsule Networks

We extended the capsule networks taking several paths. In the TextCaps work, we adjust the instantiation parameters with random controlled noise to generate new training samples from the existing samples, with realistic augmentations which reflect actual variations that are present in human hand writing. Our results with a mere 200 training samples per class surpass existing character recognition results in MNIST and several other datasets. In DeepCaps we developed a deep capsule network architecture which uses a novel 3D convolution based dynamic routing algorithm. Further, we propose a class-independent decoder network, which strengthens the use of reconstruction loss as a regularization term. This leads to an interesting property of the decoder, which allows us to identify and control the physical attributes of the images represented by the instantiation parameters.

Vinoj Jayasundara, Sandaru Jayasekara, Hirunima Jayasekara, Jathushan Rajasegaran, Suranga Seneviratne, and Ranga Rodrigo, "TextCaps: Handwritten Character Recognition With Very Small Datasets," in Proceedings of IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision, Waikoloa, HI, January 2019, pp. 254--262.
Jathushan Rajasegaran, Vinoj Jayasundara, Sandaru Jayasekara, Hirunima Jayasekara, Suranga Seneviratne, and Ranga Rodrigo, "DeepCaps: Going Deeper with Capsule Networks," in Proceedings of IEEE CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, Long Beach, CA, June 2019, pp. 1--9.

Deep Learning of Augmented Reality based Human Interactions for Automating a Robot Team

Getting a team of robots to achieve a relatively complex task using manual manipulation through augmented reality is interesting. However, the true potential of such an approach manifests when the system can learn from humans. We propose a system comprising a team of robots that performs a previously unseen task---a variant, to be specific---by learning from the sequences of actions taken by multiple human beings doing this task in various ways using deep learning. The training inputs can be through actual manipulation of the team of robots using an augmented-reality tablet or through a simulator. Results indicate that the system is able to fulfill the specified variant of the task more than 80% of the time, inaccuracies mainly owing to unrealistic specifications of tasks. This opens up an avenue of training a team of robots, instead of crafting a rule base.

Adhitha Dias, Hasitha Wellaboda, Yasod Rasanka, Menusha Munasinghe, Ranga Rodrigo, and Peshala Jayasekara, "Deep Learning of Augmented Reality based Human Interactions for Automating a Robot Team," in Proceedings of International Conference on Control, Automation and Robotics (ICCAR), Singapore, 2020, pp. 175--182.

Gait Analysis

There are several systems that use one or several Kinect sensors for human gait analysis, particularly for diagnosis of patients. However, due to the limited depth sensing range of the Kinect-a sensor manufactured for video gaming-the depth measurement accuracy reduces with distance from the Kinect. In addition, self-occlusion of the subject limits the accuracy and utility of such systems. We overcome these limitations by first by using a two-Kinect gait analysis system and second by mechanically moving the Kinects in synchronization with the test subject and each other. These methods increase the practical measurement range of the Kinectbased system whilst maintaining the measurement accuracy.

Madhura Pathegama, Dileepa Marasinghe, Kanishka Wijayasekara, Ishan Karunanayake, Chamira Edussooriya, Pujitha Silva, and Ranga Rodrigo, "Moving Kinect-Based Gait Analysis with Increased Range," in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Miyazaki, Japan, October 2018, pp. 4126--4131.
Ravindu Kumarasiri, Akila Niroshan, Zaman Lantra, Thanuja Madusanka, Chamira Edussooriya, and Ranga Rodrigo, "Gait Analysis Using RGBD Sensors," in Proceedings of International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision, Singapore, November 2018, pp. 460--465.

Video Synopsis

Video synopsis, summarizing a video to generate a shorter video by exploiting the spatial and temporal redundancies, is important for surveillance and archiving. Existing trajectory-based video synopsis algorithms are not able to work in real time because of the complexity due to the number of object tubes that need to be included in the complex energy minimization algorithm. We propose a real-time algorithm by using a method that incrementally stitches each frame of the synopsis by extracting object frames from the user specified number of tubes in the buffer in contrast to global energy minimization based systems. This also gives flexibility to the user to set the threshold of maximum number of objects in the synopsis video according his or her tracking ability and creates collision-free summarized videos which are visually pleasing. Experiments with six common test videos, indoors and outdoors with many moving objects, show that the proposed video synopsis algorithm produces better frame reduction rates than existing approaches in real-time.

Anton Ratnarajah, Sahani Goonetilleke, Dumindu Tissera, Balagobalan Kapilan, and Ranga Rodrigo, "Moving Object Based Collision-Free Video Synopsis," in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Miyazaki, Japan, October 2018, pp. 1658--1663.


Ranga Rodrigo
Ranga Rodrigo, Principal Investigator
Kumara Kahatapitiya
Kumara Kahatapitiya, Now at Stony Brook University
Dumindu Tissera
Dumindu Tissera, Graduate Student
Sutharsan Mahendren
Sutharsan Mahendren, Graduate Student


Sameera Ramasinghe
Sameera Ramasinghe, Now at ANU, Australia
Dileepa Jayamanne
Dileepa Jayamanne, Now at NSBM, Sri Lanka
Manosha Chathuramali
Manosha Chathuramali, Now at Kyushu University, Japan
Mahendra Samarawickrama
Mahendra Samarawickrama, Now a data science at Australian Red Cross