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Proceedings Paper

A bio-inspired method and system for visual object-based attention and segmentation
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes a method and system of human-like attention and object segmentation in visual scenes that (1) attends to regions in a scene in their rank of saliency in the image, (2) extracts the boundary of an attended proto-object based on feature contours, and (3) can be biased to boost the attention paid to specific features in a scene, such as those of a desired target object in static and video imagery. The purpose of the system is to identify regions of a scene of potential importance and extract the region data for processing by an object recognition and classification algorithm. The attention process can be performed in a default, bottom-up manner or a directed, top-down manner which will assign a preference to certain features over others. One can apply this system to any static scene, whether that is a still photograph or imagery captured from video. We employ algorithms that are motivated by findings in neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science to construct a system that is novel in its modular and stepwise approach to the problems of attention and region extraction, its application of a flooding algorithm to break apart an image into smaller proto-objects based on feature density, and its ability to join smaller regions of similar features into larger proto-objects. This approach allows many complicated operations to be carried out by the system in a very short time, approaching real-time. A researcher can use this system as a robust front-end to a larger system that includes object recognition and scene understanding modules; it is engineered to function over a broad range of situations and can be applied to any scene with minimal tuning from the user.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7696, Automatic Target Recognition XX; Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXIV; and Optical Pattern Recognition XXI, 769613 (12 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.850757
Show Author Affiliations
David J. Huber, HRL Labs., LLC (United States)
Deepak Khosla, HRL Labs., LLC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7696:
Automatic Target Recognition XX; Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXIV; and Optical Pattern Recognition XXI
Firooz A. Sadjadi; David P. Casasent; Steven L. Chodos; Abhijit Mahalanobis; William E. Thompson; Tien-Hsin Chao, Editor(s)

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