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This paper presents an algorithm that detects and tracks marine vessels in video taken by a nonstationary camera installed on an untethered buoy. The video is characterized by large inter-frame motion of the camera, cluttered background, and presence of compression artifacts. Our approach performs segmentation of ships in individual frames processed with a color-gradient filter. The threshold selection is based on the histogram of the search region. Tracking of ships in a sequence is enabled by registering the horizon images in one coordinate system and by using a multi-hypothesis framework. Registration step uses an area-based technique to correlate a processed strip of the image over the found horizon line. The results of evaluation of detection, localization, and tracking of the ships show significant increase in performance in comparison to the previously used technique.
Date of Conference: 23-26 Aug. 2010