Unsupervised Scene Segmentation Using Sparse Coding Context

Yen-Cheng Liu and Hwann-Tzong Chen

This paper presents an approach to image understanding on the aspect of unsupervised scene segmentation. With the goal of image understanding in mind, we consider `unsupervised scene segmentation' a task of dividing a given image into semantically meaningful regions without using annotation or other human-labeled information. We seek to investigate how well an algorithm can achieve at partitioning an image with limited human-involved learning procedures. Specifically, we are interested in developing an unsupervised segmentation algorithm that only relies on the contextual prior learned from a set of images. Our algorithm incorporates a small set of images that are similar to the input image in their scene structures. We use the sparse coding technique to analyze the appearance of this set of images; the effectiveness of sparse coding allows us to derive a priori the context of the scene from the set of images. Gaussian mixture models can then be constructed for different parts of the input image based on the sparse-coding contextual prior, and can be combined into an MRF-based segmentation process. The experimental results show that our unsupervised segmentation algorithm is able to partition an image into semantic regions, such as buildings, roads, trees, and skies, without using human-annotated information. The semantic regions generated by our algorithm can be useful, as pre-processed inputs for subsequent classification-based labeling algorithms, in achieving automatic scene annotation and scene parsing.
Yen-Cheng Liu and Hwann-Tzong Chen: Unsupervised Scene Segmentation Using Sparse Coding Context. Machine Vision and Applications, February 2013, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 243-254.
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Last updated: 11 October 2013