3D object recognition based on constrained 2D views
The aim of the present work was to build a novel 3D object recognition system capable of classifying man-made and natural objects based on single 2D views. The approach to this problem has been one motivated by recent theories on biological vision and multiresolution analysis. The project's objectives were the implementation of a system that is able to deal with simple 3D scenes and constitutes an engineering solution to the problem of 3D object recognition, allowing the proposed recognition system to operate in a practically acceptable time frame. The developed system takes further the work on automatic classification of marine phytoplanktons, carried out at the Centre for Intelligent Systems, University of Plymouth. The thesis discusses the main theoretical issues that prompted the fundamental system design options. The principles and the implementation of the coarse data channels used in the system are described. A new multiresolution representation of 2D views is presented, which provides the classifier module of the system with coarse-coded descriptions of the scale-space distribution of potentially interesting features. A multiresolution analysis-based mechanism is proposed, which directs the system's attention towards potentially salient features. Unsupervised similarity-based feature grouping is introduced, which is used in coarse data channels to yield feature signatures that are not spatially coherent and provide the classifier module with salient descriptions of object views. A simple texture descriptor is described, which is based on properties of a special wavelet transform. The system has been tested on computer-generated and natural image data sets, in conditions where the inter-object similarity was monitored and quantitatively assessed by human subjects, or the analysed objects were very similar and their discrimination constituted a difficult task even for human experts. The validity of the above described approaches has been proven. The studies conducted with various statistical and artificial neural network-based classifiers have shown that the system is able to perform well in all of the above mentioned situations. These investigations also made possible to take further and generalise a number of important conclusions drawn during previous work carried out in the field of 2D shape (plankton) recognition, regarding the behaviour of multiple coarse data channels-based pattern recognition systems and various classifier architectures. The system possesses the ability of dealing with difficult field-collected images of objects and the techniques employed by its component modules make possible its extension to the domain of complex multiple-object 3D scene recognition. The system is expected to find immediate applicability in the field of marine biota classification.