The power of feature clustering: An application to object detection

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 17 (NIPS 2004)

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Shai Avidan, Moshe Butman


We give a fast rejection scheme that is based on image segments and demonstrate it on the canonical example of face detection. However, in- stead of focusing on the detection step we focus on the rejection step and show that our method is simple and fast to be learned, thus making it an excellent pre-processing step to accelerate standard machine learning classifiers, such as neural-networks, Bayes classifiers or SVM. We de- compose a collection of face images into regions of pixels with similar behavior over the image set. The relationships between the mean and variance of image segments are used to form a cascade of rejectors that can reject over 99.8% of image patches, thus only a small fraction of the image patches must be passed to a full-scale classifier. Moreover, the training time for our method is much less than an hour, on a standard PC. The shape of the features (i.e. image segments) we use is data-driven, they are very cheap to compute and they form a very low dimensional feature space in which exhaustive search for the best features is tractable.