Estimating Sensor Motion from Wide-Field Optical Flow on a Log-Dipolar Sensor
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Log-polar image architectures, motivated by the structure of the human visual field, have long been investigated in computer vision for use in estimating motion parameters from an optical flow vector field. Practical problems with this approach have been: (i) dependence on assumed alignment of the visual and motion axes; (ii) sensitivity to occlusion form moving and stationary objects in the central visual field, where much of the numerical sensitivity is concentrated; and (iii) inaccuracy of the log-polar architecture (which is an approximation to the central 20°) for wide-field biological vision. In the present paper, we show that an algorithm based on generalization of the log-polar architecture; termed the log-dipolar sensor, provides a large improvement in performance relative to the usual log-polar sampling. Specifically, our algorithm: (i) is tolerant of large misalignmnet of the optical and motion axes; (ii) is insensitive to significant occlusion by objects of unknown motion; and (iii) represents a more correct analogy to the wide-field structure of human vision. Using the Helmholtz-Hodge decomposition to estimate the optical flow vector field on a log-dipolar sensor, we demonstrate these advantages, using synthetic optical flow maps as well as natural image sequences.
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