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Multi-scale feature detection


The above-mentioned results serve as a formal and empirical justification for using Gaussian filtering followed by derivative computations as initial steps in early processing of image data. More important, a catalogue is provided of what smoothing kernels are natural to use, as well as a framework for relating filters of different types and at different scales. (Figure 4 shows a few examples of filter kernels from this filter bank.) Linear filtering, however, cannot be used as the only component in a vision system aimed at deriving symbolic representations from images; some non-linear processing steps must be introduced into the analysis. More concretely, some mechanism is required for combining the output of these Gaussian derivative operators of different orders and at different scales into more explicit descriptors of the image geometry.

An approach that has been advocated by Koenderink and his co-workers is to describe image properties in terms of differential geometric descriptors, i.e., different possibly non-linear combinations of derivatives. Since one would typically like image descriptors to possess invariance properties under certain transformations (typically, rotations, rescalings and affine or perspective deformations), this naturally leads to the study of differential invariants []. A major difference compared to traditional invariant theory, however, is that the primitive derivative operators in this case are smoothed derivatives computed from the scale-space representation.gif In this section, a few examples will be given of how this framework of multi-scale differential geometry can be used for expressing various types of multi-scale feature detectors. The output from these feature detectors is in turn intended to be used as input to higher-level visual modules, for task such as object recognition, object reconstruction/manipulation and robot navigation.

Tony Lindeberg
Tue Jul 1 14:57:47 MET DST 1997