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Learning Visual Patterns: Imposing Order on Objects, Trajectories and Networks

By Ryan Farrell


Fundamental to many tasks in the field of computer vision, this work considers the understanding of observed visual patterns in static images and dynamic scenes . Within this broad domain, we focus on three particular subtasks, contributing novel solutions to: (a) the subordinate categorization of objects (avian species specifically), (b) the analysis of multi-agent interactions using the agent trajectories, and (c) the estimation of camera network topology. In contrast to object recognition, where the presence or absence of certain parts is generally indicative of basic-level category, the problem of subordinate categorization rests on the ability to establish salient distinctions amongst the characteristics of those parts which comprise the basic-level category. Focusing on an avian domain due to the fine-grained structure of the category taxonomy, we explore a pose-normalized appearance model based on a volumetric poselet scheme. The variation in shape and appearance properties of these parts across a taxonomy provides the cues needed for subordinate categorization. Our model associates the underlying image pattern parameters used for detection with corresponding volumetric part location, scale and orientation parameters. These parameters implicitly define a mapping from the image pixels into a pose-normalized appearance space, removing view and pose dependencies, facilitating fine-grained categorization with relatively few training examples. We next examine the problem of leveraging trajectories to understand interactions in dynamic multi-agent environments. We focus on perceptual tasks, those for which an agent's behavior is governed largely by the individuals and objects around them. We introduce kinetic accessibility, a model for evaluating the perceived, and thus anticipated, movements of other agents. This new model is then applied to the analysis of basketball footage. The kinetic accessibility measures are coupled with low-level visual cues and domain-specific knowledge for determining which player has possession of the ball and for recognizing events such as passes, shots and turnovers. Finally, we present two differing approaches for estimating camera network topology. The first technique seeks to partition a set of observations made in the camera network into individual object trajectories. As exhaustive consideration of the partition space is intractable, partitions are considered incrementally, adding observations while pruning unlikely partitions. Partition likelihood is determined by the evaluation of a probabilistic graphical model, balancing the consistency of appearances across a hypothesized trajectory with the latest predictions of camera adjacency. A primarily benefit of estimating object trajectories is that higher-order statistics, as opposed to just first-order adjacency, can be derived, yielding resilience to camera failure and the potential for improved tracking performance between cameras. Unlike the former centralized technique, the latter takes a decentralized approach, estimating the global network topology with local computations using sequential Bayesian estimation on a modified multinomial distribution. Key to this method is an information-theoretic appearance model for observation weighting. The inherently distributed nature of the approach allows the simultaneous utilization of all sensors as processing agents in collectively recovering the network topology

Topics: Computer Science, birdlets, computer vision, kinetic accessibility, object recognition, subordinate categorization, trajectory analysis
Year: 2011
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