PoseExaminer: Automated Testing of Out-of-Distribution Robustness in Human Pose and Shape Estimation

Qihao Liu · Adam Kortylewski · Alan L. Yuille

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 064


Human pose and shape (HPS) estimation methods achieve remarkable results. However, current HPS benchmarks are mostly designed to test models in scenarios that are similar to the training data. This can lead to critical situations in real-world applications when the observed data differs significantly from the training data and hence is out-of-distribution (OOD). It is therefore important to test and improve the OOD robustness of HPS methods. To address this fundamental problem, we develop a simulator that can be controlled in a fine-grained manner using interpretable parameters to explore the manifold of images of human pose, e.g. by varying poses, shapes, and clothes. We introduce a learning-based testing method, termed PoseExaminer, that automatically diagnoses HPS algorithms by searching over the parameter space of human pose images to find the failure modes. Our strategy for exploring this high-dimensional parameter space is a multi-agent reinforcement learning system, in which the agents collaborate to explore different parts of the parameter space. We show that our PoseExaminer discovers a variety of limitations in current state-of-the-art models that are relevant in real-world scenarios but are missed by current benchmarks. For example, it finds large regions of realistic human poses that are not predicted correctly, as well as reduced performance for humans with skinny and corpulent body shapes. In addition, we show that fine-tuning HPS methods by exploiting the failure modes found by PoseExaminer improve their robustness and even their performance on standard benchmarks by a significant margin. The code are available for research purposes.

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