Journal article

Interaction between High-Level and Low-Level Image Analysis for Semantic Video Object Extraction

The task of extracting a semantic video object is split into two subproblems, namely, object segmentation and region segmentation. Object segmentation relies on a priori assumptions, whereas region segmentation is data-driven and can be solved in an automatic manner. These two subproblems are not mutually independent, and they can benefit from interactions with each other. In this paper, a framework for such interaction is formulated. This representation scheme based on region segmentation and semantic segmentation is compatible with the view that image analysis and scene understanding problems can be decomposed into low-level and high-level tasks. Low-level tasks pertain to region-oriented processing, whereas the high-level tasks are closely related to object-level processing. This approach emulates the human visual system: what one “sees” in a scene depends on the scene itself (region segmentation) as well as on the cognitive task (semantic segmentation) at hand. The higher-level segmentation results in a partition corresponding to semantic video objects. Semantic video objects do not usually have invariant physical properties and the definition depends on the application. Hence, the definition incorporates complex domain-specific knowledge and is not easy to generalize. For the specific implementation used in this paper, motion is used as a clue to semantic information. In this framework, an automatic algorithm is presented for computing the semantic partition based on color change detection. The change detection strategy is designed to be immune to the sensor noise and local illumination variations. The lower-level segmentation identifies the partition corresponding to perceptually uniform regions. These regions are derived by clustering in an N-dimensional feature space, composed of static as well as dynamic image attributes. We propose an interaction mechanism between the semantic and the region partitions which allows to cope with multiple simultaneous objects. Experimental results show that the proposed method extracts semantic video objects with high spatial accuracy and temporal coherence.

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