We are living in times when a revolution of deep learning is taking place. In general, deep learning models have a backbone that extracts features from the input data followed by task-specific layers, e.g. for classification. This dissertation proposes various deep feature extraction and adaptation methods to improve task-specific learning, such as visual re-identification, tracking, and domain adaptation. The vehicle re-identification (VRID) task requires identifying a given vehicle among a set of vehicles under variations in viewpoint, illumination, partial occlusion, and background clutter. We propose a novel local graph aggregation module for feature extraction to improve VRID performance. We also utilize a class-balanced loss to compensate for the unbalanced class distribution in the training dataset. Overall, our framework achieves state-of-the-art (SOTA) performance in multiple VRID benchmarks. We further extend our VRID method for visual object tracking under occlusion conditions. We motivate visual object tracking from aerial platforms by conducting a benchmarking of tracking methods on aerial datasets. Our study reveals that the current techniques have limited capabilities to re-identify objects when fully occluded or out of view. The Siamese network based trackers perform well compared to others in overall tracking performance. We utilize our VRID work in visual object tracking and propose Siam-ReID, a novel tracking method using a Siamese network and VRID technique. In another approach, we propose SiamGauss, a novel Siamese network with a Gaussian Head for improved confuser suppression and real time performance. Our approach achieves SOTA performance on aerial visual object tracking datasets. A related area of research is developing deep learning based domain adaptation techniques. We propose continual unsupervised domain adaptation, a novel paradigm for domain adaptation in data constrained environments. We show that existing works fail to generalize when the target domain data are acquired in small batches. We propose to use a buffer to store samples that are previously seen by the network and a novel loss function to improve the performance of continual domain adaptation. We further extend our continual unsupervised domain adaptation research for gradually varying domains. Our method outperforms several SOTA methods even though they have the entire domain data available during adaptation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Deep learning (Machine learning); Pattern recognition systems; Computer vision

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Imaging Science (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


Andreas Savakis

Advisor/Committee Member

Carl Salvaggio

Advisor/Committee Member

Alexander Loui


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes