Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

*Nadia Payet, Sinisa Todorovic*

We combine random forest (RF) and conditional random field (CRF) into a new computational framework, called random forest random field (RF)^2. Inference of (RF)^2 uses the Swendsen-Wang cut algorithm, characterized by Metropolis-Hastings jumps. A jump from one state to another depends on the ratio of the proposal distributions, and on the ratio of the posterior distributions of the two states. Prior work typically resorts to a parametric estimation of these four distributions, and then computes their ratio. Our key idea is to instead directly estimate these ratios using RF. RF collects in leaf nodes of each decision tree the class histograms of training examples. We use these class histograms for a non-parametric estimation of the distribution ratios. We derive the theoretical error bounds of a two-class (RF)^2. (RF)^2 is applied to a challenging task of multiclass object recognition and segmentation over a random field of input image regions. In our empirical evaluation, we use only the visual information provided by image regions (e.g., color, texture, spatial layout), whereas the competing methods additionally use higher-level cues about the horizon location and 3D layout of surfaces in the scene. Nevertheless, (RF)^2 outperforms the state of the art on benchmark datasets, in terms of accuracy and computation time.

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