G. Gordon, T. Darrell, M. Harville, J. Woodfill
Interval Research Corp.
1801C Page Mill Road
Palo Alto CA 94304
Background estimation and removal based on the joint use of range and color data produces superior results than can be achieved with either data source alone. This is increasingly relevant as inexpensive, real-time, passive range systems become more accessible through novel hardware and increased CPU processing speeds. Range is a powerful signal for segmentation which is largely independent of color, and hence not effected by the classic color segmentation problems of shadows and objects with color similar to the background. However, range alone is also not sufficient for the good segmentation: depth measurements are rarely available at all pixels in the scene, and foreground objects may be indistinguishable in depth when they are close to the background. Color segmentation is complementary in these cases. Surprisingly, little work has been done to date on joint range and color segmentation. We describe and demonstrate a background estimation method based on a multidimensional (range and color) clustering at each image pixel. Segmentation of the foreground in a given frame is performed via comparison with background statistics in range and normalized color. Important implementation issues such as treatment of shadows and low confidence measurements are discussed in detail.
G. Gordon, T. Darrell, M. Harville, J. Woodfill."Background estimation and removal based on range and color,"Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, (Fort Collins, CO), June 1999.
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