Attentive visual tracking and trajectory estimation for dynamic scene segmentation
Intelligent Co-Pilot Systems (ICPS) offer the next challenge to vehicle-highway automation. The key to ICPSs is the detection of moving objects (other vehicles) from the moving observer using a visual sensor. The aim of the work presented in this thesis was to design and implement a feature detection and tracking strategy that is capable of tracking image features independently, in parallel, and in real-time and to cluster/segment features utilising the inherent temporal information contained within feature trajectories. Most images contain areas that are of little or no interest to vision tasks. An attentive, data-driven, approach to feature detection and tracking is proposed which aims to increase the efficiency of feature detection and tracking by focusing attention onto relevant regions of the image likely to contain scene structure. This attentive algorithm lends itself naturally to parallelisation and results from a parallel implementation are presented. A scene may be segmented into independently moving objects based on the assumption that features belonging to the same object will move in an identical way in three dimensions (this assumes objects are rigid). A model for scene segmentation is proposed that uses information contained within feature trajectories to cluster, or group, features into independently moving objects. This information includes: image-plane position, time-to-collision of a feature with the image-plane, and the type of motion observed. The Multiple Model Adaptive Estimator (MMAE) algorithm is extended to cope with constituent filters with different states (MMAE2) in an attempt to accurately estimate the time-to-collision of a feature and provide a reliable idea of the type of motion observed (in the form of a model belief measure). Finally, poor state initialisation is identified as a likely prime cause for poor Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) performance (and hence poor MMAE2 performance) when using high order models. The idea of the neurofuzzy initialised EKF (NF-EKF) is introduced which attempts to reduce the time for an EKF to converge by improving the accuracy of the EKF's initial state estimates.