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Probabilistic, Features-Based Object Recognition


Moreels, Pierre (2008) Probabilistic, Features-Based Object Recognition. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/YGYX-XX55.


Object recognition is of fundamental importance in computer vision. In a few years, pedestrian detection, car detection, and more generally scene recognition will likely be reliable enough to allow fully-automated car navigation, and the human driver will be relegated to the back seat to sip his coffee.

In this thesis we are interested in recognizing individual objects and categories. In order to reduce the volume of information one has to process, images are characterized by sets of features. These features, also called interest points, are targeted at image locations with high local information content. Various systems for detecting interest points and for describing the local image appearance near these points, have been proposed in the last two decades. We investigate which combinations from this plethora of detectors and descriptors, are most suited for object recognition tasks.

On to the problem of object recognition, we are first interested in recognizing individual objects. In a few years, one can imagine that customers in shops, will take with their cell phone a picture of a product that looks interesting, send it to a remote server with a huge database of individual objects, and get back information about that specific product. We propose a system for individual object recognition, inspired from previous work on coarse-to-fine recognition. All steps of the recognition process are translated into principled probabilistic terms, which allows us to outperform a state-of-the-art commercial system for individual recognition.

Regarding categories, faces are probably the category that has received the most attention in computer vision literature. Here we propose a system to recognize images of the same individual in large databases of images. This can be of high interest when looking for images of a given person over the internet. Our method's advantage is that it works on real-world images, as opposed to the face databases from the literature, collected in laboratories with controlled lighting, pose and background conditions.

Finally, we are interested in recognition of object categories in general. Using support vector machines for the classification task, we propose a features-based kernel that improves recognition performance on object categories.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:coarse-to-fine methods; computer vision; object recognition; probabilistic methods
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Perona, Pietro
Thesis Committee:
  • Perona, Pietro (chair)
  • Moghaddam, Baback
  • Koch, Christof
  • Matthies, Larry H.
  • Abu-Mostafa, Yaser S.
Defense Date:12 October 2007
Non-Caltech Author Email:pierre.moreels (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-11232007-213140
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4644
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:05 Feb 2008
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 00:44

Thesis Files

PDF (Thesis_pmoreels.pdf) - Final Version
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