Change detection models for mobile cameras

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Kit, Dmitry Mark

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Change detection is an ability that allows intelligent agents to react to unexpected situations. This mechanism is fundamental in providing more autonomy to robots. It has been used in many different fields including quality control and network intrusion. In the visual domain, however, most research has been confined to stationary cameras and only recently have researchers started to shift to mobile cameras.

We propose a general framework for building internal spatial models of the visual experiences. These models are used to retrieve expectations about visual inputs which can be compared to the actual observation in order to identify the presence of changes. Our framework leverages the tolerance to small view changes of optic flow and color histogram representations and a self-organizing map to build a compact memory of camera observations. The effectiveness of the approach is demonstrated in a walking simulation, where spatial information and color histograms are combined to detect changes in a room. The location signal allows the algorithm to query the self-organizing map for the expected color histogram and compare it to the current input. Any deviations can be considered changes and are then localized on the input image.

Furthermore, we show how detecting a vehicle entering or leaving the camera's lane can be reduced to a change detection problem. This simplifies the problem by removing the need to track or even know about other vehicles. Matching Pursuit is used to learn a compact dictionary to describe the observed experiences. Using this approach, changes are detected when the learned dictionary is unable to reconstruct the current input.

The human experiments presented in this dissertation support the idea that humans build statistical models that evolve with experience. We provide evidence that not only does this experience improve people's behavior in 3D environments, but also enables them to detect chromatic changes.

Mobile cameras are now part of our everyday lives, ranging from built-in laptop cameras to cell phone cameras. The vision of this research is to enable these devices with change detection mechanisms to solve a large class of problems. Beyond presenting a foundation that effectively detects changes in environments, we also show that the algorithms employed are computationally inexpensive. The practicality of this approach is demonstrated by a partial implementation of the algorithm on commodity hardware such as Android mobile devices.



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