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Bilayer Segmentation of Webcam Videos Using Tree-Based Classifiers

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4 Author(s)
Pei Yin ; Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, USA ; Criminisi, Antonio ; Winn, J. ; Essa, I.

This paper presents an automatic segmentation algorithm for video frames captured by a (monocular) webcam that closely approximates depth segmentation from a stereo camera. The frames are segmented into foreground and background layers that comprise a subject (participant) and other objects and individuals. The algorithm produces correct segmentations even in the presence of large background motion with a nearly stationary foreground. This research makes three key contributions: First, we introduce a novel motion representation, referred to as “motons,” inspired by research in object recognition. Second, we propose estimating the segmentation likelihood from the spatial context of motion. The estimation is efficiently learned by random forests. Third, we introduce a general taxonomy of tree-based classifiers that facilitates both theoretical and experimental comparisons of several known classification algorithms and generates new ones. In our bilayer segmentation algorithm, diverse visual cues such as motion, motion context, color, contrast, and spatial priors are fused by means of a conditional random field (CRF) model. Segmentation is then achieved by binary min-cut. Experiments on many sequences of our videochat application demonstrate that our algorithm, which requires no initialization, is effective in a variety of scenes, and the segmentation results are comparable to those obtained by stereo systems.

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Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 1 )