Semantic Concept Testing in Autonomous Driving by Extraction of Object-Level Annotations from CARLA
With the growing use of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) in various safety-critical applications comes an increasing need for Verification and Validation (V&V) of these DNNs. Unlike testing in software engineering, where several established methods exist for V&V, DNN testing is still at an early stage. The data-driven nature of DNNs adds to the complexity of testing them. In the scope of autonomous driving, we showcase our validation method by leveraging object-level annotations (object metadata) to test DNNs on a more granular level using human-understandable semantic concepts like gender, shirt colour, age, and illumination. Such an enhanced granularity, as we detail, can prove useful in the construction of closed-loop testing or the investigation of dataset coverage/completeness. Our add-on sensor to the CARLA simulator enables us to generate datasets with this granular metadata. For the task of semantic segmentation for pedestrian detection using DeepLabv3+, we highlight potential insights and challenges that become apparent on this level of granularity. For instance, imbalances within a CARLA generated dataset w.r.t. the pedestrian distribution do not directly carry over into weak spots of the DNN performances and vice versa.