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144
A comparative study of energy minimization methods for Markov random fields
 IN ECCV
, 2006
"... One of the most exciting advances in early vision has been the development of efficient energy minimization algorithms. Many early vision tasks require labeling each pixel with some quantity such as depth or texture. While many such problems can be elegantly expressed in the language of Markov Ran ..."
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Cited by 416 (36 self)
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One of the most exciting advances in early vision has been the development of efficient energy minimization algorithms. Many early vision tasks require labeling each pixel with some quantity such as depth or texture. While many such problems can be elegantly expressed in the language of Markov Random Fields (MRF’s), the resulting energy minimization problems were widely viewed as intractable. Recently, algorithms such as graph cuts and loopy belief propagation (LBP) have proven to be very powerful: for example, such methods form the basis for almost all the topperforming stereo methods. Unfortunately, most papers define their own energy function, which is minimized with a specific algorithm of their choice. As a result, the tradeoffs among different energy minimization algorithms are not well understood. In this paper we describe a set of energy minimization benchmarks, which we use to compare the solution quality and running time of several common energy minimization algorithms. We investigate three promising recent methods—graph cuts, LBP, and treereweighted message passing—as well as the wellknown older iterated conditional modes (ICM) algorithm. Our benchmark problems are drawn from published energy functions used for stereo, image stitching and interactive segmentation. We also provide a generalpurpose software interface that allows vision researchers to easily switch between optimization methods with minimal overhead. We expect that the availability of our benchmarks and interface will make it significantly easier for vision researchers to adopt the best method for their specific problems. Benchmarks, code, results and images are available at
Optimizing binary MRFs via extended roof duality
 In Proc. CVPR
, 2007
"... Many computer vision applications rely on the efficient optimization of challenging, socalled nonsubmodular, binary pairwise MRFs. A promising graph cut based approach for optimizing such MRFs known as “roof duality” was recently introduced into computer vision. We study two methods which extend t ..."
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Cited by 172 (12 self)
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Many computer vision applications rely on the efficient optimization of challenging, socalled nonsubmodular, binary pairwise MRFs. A promising graph cut based approach for optimizing such MRFs known as “roof duality” was recently introduced into computer vision. We study two methods which extend this approach. First, we discuss an efficient implementation of the “probing ” technique introduced recently by Boros et al. [5]. It simplifies the MRF while preserving the global optimum. Our code is 400700 faster on some graphs than the implementation of [5]. Second, we present a new technique which takes an arbitrary input labeling and tries to improve its energy. We give theoretical characterizations of local minima of this procedure. We applied both techniques to many applications, including image segmentation, new view synthesis, superresolution, diagram recognition, parameter learning, texture restoration, and image deconvolution. For several applications we see that we are able to find the global minimum very efficiently, and considerably outperform the original roof duality approach. In comparison to existing techniques, such as graph cut, TRW, BP, ICM, and simulated annealing, we nearly always find a lower energy. 1.
Global Stereo Reconstruction under Second Order Smoothness Priors
"... Secondorder priors on the smoothness of 3D surfaces are a better model of typical scenes than firstorder priors. However, stereo reconstruction using global inference algorithms, such as graphcuts, has not been able to incorporate secondorder priors because the triple cliques needed to express t ..."
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Cited by 127 (8 self)
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Secondorder priors on the smoothness of 3D surfaces are a better model of typical scenes than firstorder priors. However, stereo reconstruction using global inference algorithms, such as graphcuts, has not been able to incorporate secondorder priors because the triple cliques needed to express them yield intractable (nonsubmodular) optimization problems. This paper shows that inference with triple cliques can be effectively optimized. Our optimization strategy is a development of recent extensions to αexpansion, based on the “QPBO ” algorithm [5, 14, 26]. The strategy is to repeatedly merge proposal depth maps using a novel extension of QPBO. Proposal depth maps can come from any source, for example frontoparallel planes as in αexpansion, or indeed any existing stereo algorithm, with arbitrary parameter settings. Experimental results demonstrate the usefulness of the secondorder prior and the efficacy of our optimization framework. An implementation of our stereo framework is available online [34].
Minimizing Sparse Higher Order Energy Functions of Discrete Variables
"... Higher order energy functions have the ability to encode high level structural dependencies between pixels, which have been shown to be extremely powerful for image labeling problems. Their use, however, is severely hampered in practice by the intractable complexity of representing and minimizing su ..."
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Cited by 74 (13 self)
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Higher order energy functions have the ability to encode high level structural dependencies between pixels, which have been shown to be extremely powerful for image labeling problems. Their use, however, is severely hampered in practice by the intractable complexity of representing and minimizing such functions. We observed that higher order functions encountered in computer vision are very often “sparse”, i.e. many labelings of a higher order clique are equally unlikely and hence have the same high cost. In this paper, we address the problem of minimizing such sparse higher order energy functions. Our method works by transforming the problem into an equivalent quadratic function minimization problem. The resulting quadratic function can be minimized using popular message passing or graph cut based algorithms for MAP inference. Although this is primarily a theoretical paper, it also shows how higher order functions can be used to obtain impressive results for the binary texture restoration problem.
Fusion Moves for Markov Random Field Optimization
"... The efficient application of graph cuts to Markov Random Fields (MRFs) with multiple discrete or continuous labels remains an open question. In this paper, we demonstrate one possible way of achieving this by using graph cuts to combine pairs of suboptimal labelings or solutions. We call this combi ..."
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Cited by 68 (5 self)
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The efficient application of graph cuts to Markov Random Fields (MRFs) with multiple discrete or continuous labels remains an open question. In this paper, we demonstrate one possible way of achieving this by using graph cuts to combine pairs of suboptimal labelings or solutions. We call this combination process the fusion move. By employing recently developed graph cut based algorithms (socalled QPBOgraph cut), the fusion move can efficiently combine two proposal labelings in a theoretically sound way, which is in practice often globally optimal. We demonstrate that fusion moves generalize many previous graph cut approaches, which allows them to be used as building block within a broader variety of optimization schemes than were considered before. In particular, we propose new optimization schemes for computer vision MRFs with applications to image restoration, stereo, and optical flow, among others. Within these schemes the fusion moves are used 1) for the parallelization of MRF optimization into several threads; 2) for fast MRF optimization by combining cheaptocompute solutions; and 3) for the optimization of highly nonconvex continuouslabeled MRFs with 2D labels. Our final example is a nonvision MRF concerned with cartographic label placement, where fusion moves can be used to improve the performance of a standard inference method (loopy belief propagation).
Spectral Matting
, 2008
"... We present spectral matting: a new approach to natural image matting that automatically computes a set of fundamental fuzzy matting components from the smallest eigenvectors of a suitably defined Laplacian matrix. Thus, our approach extends spectral segmentation techniques, whose goal is to extract ..."
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Cited by 60 (2 self)
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We present spectral matting: a new approach to natural image matting that automatically computes a set of fundamental fuzzy matting components from the smallest eigenvectors of a suitably defined Laplacian matrix. Thus, our approach extends spectral segmentation techniques, whose goal is to extract hard segments, to the extraction of soft matting components. These components may then be used as building blocks to easily construct semantically meaningful foreground mattes, either in an unsupervised fashion, or based on a small amount of user input. 1.
FusionFlow: DiscreteContinuous Optimization for Optical Flow Estimation
, 2008
"... Accurate estimation of optical flow is a challenging task, which often requires addressing difficult energy optimization problems. To solve them, most topperforming methods rely on continuous optimization algorithms. The modeling accuracy of the energy in this case is often traded for its tractabil ..."
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Cited by 57 (7 self)
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Accurate estimation of optical flow is a challenging task, which often requires addressing difficult energy optimization problems. To solve them, most topperforming methods rely on continuous optimization algorithms. The modeling accuracy of the energy in this case is often traded for its tractability. This is in contrast to the related problem of narrowbaseline stereo matching, where the topperforming methods employ powerful discrete optimization algorithms such as graph cuts and messagepassing to optimize highly nonconvex energies. In this paper, we demonstrate how similar nonconvex energies can be formulated and optimized discretely in the context of optical flow estimation. Starting with a set of candidate solutions that are produced by fast continuous flow estimation algorithms, the proposed method iteratively fuses these candidate solutions by the computation of minimum cuts on graphs. The obtained continuousvalued fusion result is then further improved using local gradient descent. Experimentally, we demonstrate that the proposed energy is an accurate model and that the proposed discretecontinuous optimization scheme not only finds lower energy solutions than traditional discrete or continuous optimization techniques, but also leads to flow estimates that outperform the current stateoftheart.
LogCut  Efficient Graph Cut Optimization for Markov Random Fields
"... Markov Random Fields (MRFs) are ubiquitous in lowlevel computer vision. In this paper, we propose a new approach to the optimization of multilabeled MRFs. Similarly to αexpansion it is based on iterative application of binary graph cut. However, the number of binary graph cuts required to compute ..."
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Cited by 52 (5 self)
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Markov Random Fields (MRFs) are ubiquitous in lowlevel computer vision. In this paper, we propose a new approach to the optimization of multilabeled MRFs. Similarly to αexpansion it is based on iterative application of binary graph cut. However, the number of binary graph cuts required to compute a labelling grows only logarithmically with the size of label space, instead of linearly. We demonstrate that for applications such as optical flow, image restoration, and high resolution stereo, this gives an order of magnitude speedup, for comparable energies. Iterations are performed by “fusion” of solutions, done with QPBO which is related to graph cut but can deal with nonsubmodularity. At convergence, the method achieves optima on a par with the best competitors, and sometimes even exceeds them.
Dense Nonrigid Surface Registration Using HighOrder Graph Matching
"... In this paper, we propose a highorder graph matching formulation to address nonrigid surface matching. The singleton terms capture the geometric and appearance similarities (e.g., curvature and texture) while the highorder terms model the intrinsic embedding energy. The novelty of this paper incl ..."
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Cited by 48 (11 self)
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In this paper, we propose a highorder graph matching formulation to address nonrigid surface matching. The singleton terms capture the geometric and appearance similarities (e.g., curvature and texture) while the highorder terms model the intrinsic embedding energy. The novelty of this paper includes: 1) casting 3D surface registration into a graph matching problem that combines both geometric and appearance similarities and intrinsic embedding information, 2) the first implementation of highorder graph matching algorithm that solves a nonconvex optimization problem, and 3) an efficient twostage optimization approach to constrain the search space for dense surface registration. Our method is validated through a series of experiments demonstrating its accuracy and efficiency, notably in challenging cases of large and/or nonisometric deformations, or meshes that are partially occluded. 1.
Global optimization for shape fitting
 In CVPR, 2007. 6
, 2007
"... We propose a global optimization framework for 3D shape reconstruction from sparse noisy 3D measurements frequently encountered in range scanning, sparse featurebased stereo, and shapefromX. In contrast to earlier local or banded optimization methods for shape fitting, we compute global optimum in ..."
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Cited by 47 (3 self)
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We propose a global optimization framework for 3D shape reconstruction from sparse noisy 3D measurements frequently encountered in range scanning, sparse featurebased stereo, and shapefromX. In contrast to earlier local or banded optimization methods for shape fitting, we compute global optimum in the whole volume removing dependence on initial guess and sensitivity to numerous local minima. Our global method is based on two main ideas. First, we suggest a new regularization functional with a data alignment term that maximizes the number of (weaklyoriented) data points contained by a surface while allowing for some measurement errors. Second, we propose a touchexpand algorithm for finding a minimum cut on a huge 3D grid using an automatically adjusted band. This overcomes prohibitively high memory cost of graph cuts when computing globally optimal surfaces at highresolution. Our results for sparse or incomplete 3D data from laser scanning and passive multiview stereo are robust to noise, outliers, missing parts, and varying sampling density. 1.