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Title: General motion estimation and segmentation
Author: Wu, Siu Fan
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1990
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In this thesis, estimation of motion from an image sequence is investigated. The emphasis is on the novel use of motion model for describing two dimensional motion. Special attention is directed towards general motion models which are not restricted to translational motion. In contrast to translational motion, the 2-D motion is described by the model using motion parameters. There are two major areas which can benefit from the study of general motion model. The first one is image sequence processing and compression. In this context, the use of motion model provides a more compact description of the motion information because the model can be applied to a larger area. The second area is computer vision. The general motion parameters provide clues to the understanding of the environment. This offers a simpler alternative to techniques such as optical flow analysis. A direct approach is adopted here to estimate the motion parameters directly from an image sequence. This has the advantage of avoiding the error caused by the estimation of optical flow. A differential method has been developed for the purpose. This is applied in conjunction with a multi-resolution scheme. An initial estimate is obtained by applying the algorithm to a low resolution image. The initial estimate is then refined by applying the algorithm to image of higher resolutions. In this way, even severe motion can be estimated with high resolution. However, the algorithm is unable to cope with the situation of multiple moving objects, mainly because of the least square estimator used. A second algorithm, inspired by the Hough transform, is therefore developed to estimate the motion parameters of multiple objects. By formulating the problem as an optimization problem, the Hough transform is computed only implicitly. This drastically reduces the computational requirement as compared with the Hough transform. The criterion used in optimization is a measure of the degree of match between two images. It has been shown that the measure is a well behaving function in the vicinity of the motion parameter vectors describing the motion of the objects, depending on the smoothness of the images. Therefore, smoothing an image has the effect of allowing longer range motion to be estimated. Segmentation of the image according to motion is achieved at the same time. The ability to estimate general motion in the situation of multiple moving objects represents a major step forward in 2-D motion estimation. Finally, the application of motion compensation to the problem of frame rate conversion is considered. The handling of the covered and uncovered background has been investigated. A new algorithm to obtain a pixel value for the pixels in those areas is introduced. Unlike published algorithms, the background is not assumed stationary. This presents a major obstacle which requires the study of occlusion in the image. During the research, the art of motion estimation hcis been advanced from simple motion vector estimation to a more descriptive level: The ability to point out that a certain area in an image is undergoing a zooming operation is one example. Only low level information such as image gradient and intensity function is used. In many different situations, problems are caused by the lack of higher level information. This seems to suggest that general motion estimation is much more than using a general motion model and developing an algorithm to estimate the parameters. To advance further the state of the art of general motion estimation, it is believed that future research effort should focus on higher level aspects of motion understanding.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Image sequence processing