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The dynamic tree (DT) graphical model is a popular analytical tool for image segmentation and object classification tasks. A DT is a useful model in this context because its hierarchical property enables the user to examine information in multiple scales and its flexible structure can more easily fit complex region boundaries compared to rigid quadtree structures such as tree-structured Bayesian networks. This paper proposes a novel framework for data fusion called a deformable Bayesian network (DFBN) by using a DT model to fuse measurements from multiple sensing platforms into a nonredundant representation. The structural flexibility of the DFBN will be used to fuse common information across different sensor measurements. The appropriate structure update strategies for the DFBN and its parameters for the data fusion application are discussed. A real-world example application using sonar images collected from a survey mission is presented. The fusion results using the presented DFBN framework are shown to outperform state-of-the-art approaches such as the Gaussian mean shift and spectral clustering algorithms. The DFBN's complexity and scalability are discussed to address its potential for a larger data set.
Date of Publication: April 2012