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Multiple motion segmentation with level sets

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2 Author(s)
Mansouri, A.-R. ; Div. of Eng. & Appl. Sci., Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Konrad, J.

Segmentation of motion in an image sequence is one of the most challenging problems in image processing, while at the same time one that finds numerous applications. To date, a wealth of approaches to motion segmentation have been proposed. Many of them suffer from the local nature of the models used. Global models, such as those based on Markov random fields, perform, in general, better. In this paper, we propose a new approach to motion segmentation that is based on a global model. The novelty of the approach is twofold. First, inspired by recent work of other researchers we formulate the problem as that of region competition, but we solve it using the level set methodology. The key features of a level set representation, as compared to active contours, often used in this context, are its ability to handle variations in the topology of the segmentation and its numerical stability. The second novelty of the paper is the formulation in which, unlike in many other motion segmentation algorithms, we do not use intensity boundaries as an accessory; the segmentation is purely based on motion. This permits accurate estimation of motion boundaries of an object even when its intensity boundaries are hardly visible. Since occasionally intensity boundaries may prove beneficial, we extend the formulation to account for the coincidence of motion and intensity boundaries. In addition, we generalize the approach to multiple motions. We discuss possible discretizations of the evolution (PDE) equations and we give details of an initialization scheme so that the results could be duplicated. We show numerous experimental results for various formulations on natural images with either synthetic or natural motion.

Published in:

Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Feb 2003

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