SLIC Superpixels

Superpixels are becoming increasingly popular for use in computer vision applications. However, there are few algorithms that output a desired number of regular, compact superpixels with a low computational overhead. We introduce a novel algorithm that clusters pixels in the combined five-dimensional color and image plane space to efficiently generate compact, nearly uniform superpixels. The simplicity of our approach makes it extremely easy to use -- a lone parameter specifies the number of superpixels -- and the efficiency of the algorithm makes it very practical. Experiments show that our approach produces superpixels at a lower computational cost while achieving a segmentation quality equal to or greater than four state-of-the-art methods, as measured by boundary recall and under-segmentation error. We also demonstrate the benefits of our superpixel approach in contrast to existing methods for two tasks in which superpixels have already been shown to increase performance over pixel-based methods.

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