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Improved Simultaneous Computation of Motion Detection and Optical Flow for Object Tracking

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3 Author(s)
Simon Denman ; Image & Video Lab., Queensland Univ. of Technol., Brisbane, QLD, Australia ; Clinton Fookes ; Sridha Sridharan

Object tracking systems require accurate segmentation of the objects from the background for effective tracking. Motion segmentation or optical flow can be used to segment incoming images. Whilst optical flow allows multiple moving targets to be separated based on their individual velocities, optical flow techniques are prone to errors caused by changing lighting and occlusions, both common in a surveillance environment. Motion segmentation techniques are more robust to fluctuating lighting and occlusions, but don't provide information on the direction of the motion. In this paper we propose a combined motion segmentation/optical flow algorithm for use in object tracking. The proposed algorithm uses the motion segmentation results to inform the optical flow calculations and ensure that optical flow is only calculated in regions of motion, and improve the performance of the optical flow around the edge of moving objects. Optical flow is calculated at pixel resolution and tracking of flow vectors is employed to improve performance and detect discontinuities, which can indicate the location of overlaps between objects. The algorithm is evaluated by attempting to extract a moving target within the flow images, given expected horizontal and vertical movement (i.e. the algorithms intended use for object tracking). Results show that the proposed algorithm outperforms other widely used optical flow techniques for this surveillance application.

Published in:

Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications, 2009. DICTA '09.

Date of Conference:

1-3 Dec. 2009