Foreground Object Segmentation from Binocular Stereo Video
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Moving cameras are needed for a wide range of applications in robotics, vehicle systems, surveillance, etc. However, many foreground object segmentation methods reported in the literature are unsuitable for such settings; these methods assume that the camera is fixed and the background changes slowly, and are inadequate for segmenting objects in video if there is significant motion of the camera or background. To address this shortcoming, a new method for segmenting foreground objects is proposed that utilizes binocular video. The method is demonstrated in the application of tracking and segmenting people in video who are approximately facing the binocular camera rig. Given a stereo image pair, the system first tries to find faces. Starting at each face, the region containing the person is grown by merging regions from an over-segmented color image. The disparity map is used to guide this merging process. The system has been implemented on a consumer-grade PC, and tested on video sequences of people indoors obtained from a moving camera rig. As can be expected, the proposed method works well in situations where other foreground-background segmentation methods typically fail. We believe that this superior performance is partly due to the use of object detection to guide region merging in disparity/color foreground segmentation, and partly due to the use of disparity information available with a binocular rig, in contrast with most previous methods that assumed monocular sequences.