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Background including a long-period fast illumination variation is commonly assumed to be foreground by mistake. To solve this problem, proposed is a semantic-based hierarchical Gaussian mixture model integrated with an illumination detection approach. First, autocorrelation-based features for broad identification of background lighting changes and foreground in short-term sequences are presented. Then, the hierarchical Gaussians representing different background illumination variations are maintained. The effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated using experiments on pedestrian detection in fast lighting change.