Learning to Perceive Transparency from the Statistics of Natural Scenes

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 15 (NIPS 2002)

Bibtex Metadata Paper


Anat Levin, Assaf Zomet, Yair Weiss


Certain simple images are known to trigger a percept of trans- parency: the input image I is perceived as the sum of two images I(x; y) = I1(x; y) + I2(x; y). This percept is puzzling. First, why do we choose the \more complicated" description with two images rather than the \simpler" explanation I(x; y) = I1(x; y) + 0 ? Sec- ond, given the inflnite number of ways to express I as a sum of two images, how do we compute the \best" decomposition ? Here we suggest that transparency is the rational percept of a sys- tem that is adapted to the statistics of natural scenes. We present a probabilistic model of images based on the qualitative statistics of derivative fllters and \corner detectors" in natural scenes and use this model to flnd the most probable decomposition of a novel image. The optimization is performed using loopy belief propa- gation. We show that our model computes perceptually \correct" decompositions on synthetic images and discuss its application to real images.