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Image partitioning is an important preprocessing step for many of the state-of-the-art algorithms used for performing high-level computer vision tasks. Typically, partitioning is conducted without regard to the task in hand. We propose a task-specific image partitioning framework to produce a region-based image representation that will lead to a higher task performance than that reached using any task-oblivious partitioning framework and existing supervised partitioning framework, albeit few in number. The proposed method partitions the image by means of correlation clustering, maximizing a linear discriminant function defined over a superpixel graph. The parameters of the discriminant function that define task-specific similarity/dissimilarity among superpixels are estimated based on structured support vector machine (S-SVM) using task-specific training data. The S-SVM learning leads to a better generalization ability while the construction of the superpixel graph used to define the discriminant function allows a rich set of features to be incorporated to improve discriminability and robustness. We evaluate the learned task-aware partitioning algorithms on three benchmark datasets. Results show that task-aware partitioning leads to better labeling performance than the partitioning computed by the state-of-the-art general-purpose and supervised partitioning algorithms. We believe that the task-specific image partitioning paradigm is widely applicable to improving performance in high-level image understanding tasks.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2013