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Global optimisation techniques for image segmentation with higher order models

Sara Alexandra Gomes Vicente


Energy minimisation methods are one of the most successful approaches to image segmentation. Typically used energy functions are limited to pairwise interactions due to the increased complexity when working with higher-order functions. However, some important assumptions about objects are not translatable to pairwise interactions. The goal of this thesis is to explore higher order models for segmentation that are applicable to a wide range of objects. We consider: (1) a connectivity constraint, (2) a joint model over the segmentation and the appearance, and (3) a model for segmenting the same object in multiple images. We start by investigating a connectivity prior, which is a natural assumption about objects. We show how this prior can be formulated in the energy minimisation framework and explore the complexity of the underlying optimisation problem, introducing two different algorithms for optimisation. This connectivity prior is useful to overcome the “shrinking bias” of the pairwise model, in particular in interactive segmentation systems. Secondly, we consider an existing model that treats the appearance of the image segments as variables. We show how to globally optimise this model using a Dual Decomposition technique and show that this optimisation method outperforms existing ones. Finally, we explore the current limits of the energy minimisation framework. We consider the cosegmentation task and show that a preference for object-like segmentations is an important addition to cosegmentation. This preference is, however, not easily encoded in the energy minimisation framework. Instead, we use a practical proposal generation approach that allows not only the inclusion of a preference for object-like segmentations, but also to learn the similarity measure needed to define the cosegmentation task. We conclude that higher order models are useful for different object segmentation tasks. We show how some of these models can be formulated in the energy minimisation framework. Furthermore, we introduce global optimisation methods for these energies and make extensive use of the Dual Decomposition optimisation approach that proves to be suitable for this type of models.


Publication typePhdThesis
InstitutionUniversity College London
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