Section: Research Program

Geometric and shape modeling

One of the grand challenges of computer vision and image processing is the expression and use of prior geometric information via the construction of appropriate models. For very high resolution imagery, this problem becomes critically important, as the increasing resolution of the data results in the appearance of a great deal of complex geometric structure hitherto invisible. AYIN studies various approaches to the construction of models of geometry and shape.

Stochastic geometry

One of the most promising approaches to the inclusion of this type of information is stochastic geometry, which is an important research direction in the AYIN team. Instead of defining probabilities for different types of image, probabilities are defined for configurations of an indeterminate number of interacting, parameterized objects located in the image. Such probability distributions are called `marked point processes'. New models are being developed both for remote sensing applications, and for skin care problems, such as wrinkle and acne detection.

Contours, phase fields, and MRFs with long-range interactions

An alternative approach to shape modeling starts with generic `regions' in the image, and adds constraints in order to model specific shapes and objects. AYIN investigates contour, phase field, and binary field representations of regions, incorporating shape information via highly-structured long-range interactions that constrain the set of high-probability regions to those with specific geometric properties. This class of models can represent infinite-dimensional families of shapes and families with unbounded topology, as well as families consisting of an arbitrary number of object instances, at no extra computational cost. Key sub-problems include the development of models of more complex shapes and shape configurations; the development of models in more than two spatial dimensions; and understanding the equivalences between models in different representations and approaches.

Shapes in time

AYIN is concerned with spectral and spatio-temporal structures. To deal with the latter, the above scene modeling approaches are extended into the time dimension, either by modeling time dependence directly, or, in the field-based approaches, by modeling spacetime structures, or, in the stochastic geometry approach, by including the time t in the mark. An example is a spatio-temporal graph-cut-based method that introduces directed infinite links connecting pixels in successive image frames in order to impose constraints on shape change.