Symbolic Pregression: Discovering Physical Laws from Raw Distorted Video

We present a method for unsupervised learning of equations of motion for objects in raw and optionally distorted unlabeled video. We first train an autoencoder that maps each video frame into a low-dimensional latent space where the laws of motion are as simple as possible, by minimizing a combination of non-linearity, acceleration and prediction error. Differential equations describing the motion are then discovered using Pareto-optimal symbolic regression. We find that our pre-regression ("pregression") step is able to rediscover Cartesian coordinates of unlabeled moving objects even when the video is distorted by a generalized lens. Using intuition from multidimensional knot-theory, we find that the pregression step is facilitated by first adding extra latent space dimensions to avoid topological problems during training and then removing these extra dimensions via principal component analysis.


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