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Digital reality: a model-based approach to supervised learning from synthetic data

Tim Dahmen; Patrick Trampert; Faysal Boughorbel; Janis Sprenger; Matthias Klusch; Klaus Fischer; Christian Kübel; Philipp Slusallek
In: AI Perspectives, Vol. 1, Pages 1-12, Springer, 2019.


Hierarchical neural networks with large numbers of layers are the state of the art for most computer vision problems including image classification, multi-object detection and semantic segmentation. While the computational demands of training such deep networks can be addressed using specialized hardware, the availability of training data in sufficient quantity and quality remains a limiting factor. Main reasons are that measurement or manual labelling are prohibitively expensive, ethical considerations can limit generating data, or a phenomenon in questions has been predicted, but not yet observed. In this position paper, we present the Digital Reality concept are a structured approach to generate training data synthetically. The central idea is to simulate measurements based on scenes that are generated by parametric models of the real world. By investigating the parameter space defined of such models, training data can be generated in a controlled way compared to data that was captured from real world situations. We propose the Digital Reality concept and demonstrate its potential in different application domains, including industrial inspection, autonomous driving, smart grid, and microscopy research in material science and engineering.