The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering USC Signal and Image Processing Institute USC Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering University of Southern California

Technical Report USC-SIPI-167

“A Unified Approach to Boundary Perception: Edges, Textures, and Illusory Contours”

by B.S. Manjunath and Rama Chellappa

January 1991

This paper presents a unified approach to boundary perception. The model consists of a multistage system which extracts and groups salient features in the image at different spatial scales (or frequencies). In the first stage a Gabor wavelet decomposition provides a representation of the image which is orientation selective and has optimal localization properties in space and frequency. This decomposition is useful in detecting significant features such as step and line edges at different scales and orientations in the image. Following the wavelet transformation, local competitive interactions are introduced which help in reducing the effects of noise and changes in illumination. Interscale interactions help in localizing the line ends and corners, and play a crucial role in boundary perception. The final stage groups similar features, aiding in boundary completion. This approach is consistent with some of the known neurophysiological observations regarding biological visual information processing, as the different stages can be identified with processing by simple, complex and hypercomplex cells in the visual cortex of mammals. Experimental results are provided to indicate the performance of this model in detecting boundaries (both real and illusory) in real and synthetic images.

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