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Fast approximate energy minimization via graph cuts
 IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
, 2001
"... In this paper we address the problem of minimizing a large class of energy functions that occur in early vision. The major restriction is that the energy function’s smoothness term must only involve pairs of pixels. We propose two algorithms that use graph cuts to compute a local minimum even when v ..."
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Cited by 2121 (61 self)
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In this paper we address the problem of minimizing a large class of energy functions that occur in early vision. The major restriction is that the energy function’s smoothness term must only involve pairs of pixels. We propose two algorithms that use graph cuts to compute a local minimum even when very large moves are allowed. The first move we consider is an αβswap: for a pair of labels α, β, this move exchanges the labels between an arbitrary set of pixels labeled α and another arbitrary set labeled β. Our first algorithm generates a labeling such that there is no swap move that decreases the energy. The second move we consider is an αexpansion: for a label α, this move assigns an arbitrary set of pixels the label α. Our second
What energy functions can be minimized via graph cuts?
 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE
, 2004
"... In the last few years, several new algorithms based on graph cuts have been developed to solve energy minimization problems in computer vision. Each of these techniques constructs a graph such that the minimum cut on the graph also minimizes the energy. Yet, because these graph constructions are co ..."
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Cited by 1048 (23 self)
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In the last few years, several new algorithms based on graph cuts have been developed to solve energy minimization problems in computer vision. Each of these techniques constructs a graph such that the minimum cut on the graph also minimizes the energy. Yet, because these graph constructions are complex and highly specific to a particular energy function, graph cuts have seen limited application to date. In this paper, we give a characterization of the energy functions that can be minimized by graph cuts. Our results are restricted to functions of binary variables. However, our work generalizes many previous constructions and is easily applicable to vision problems that involve large numbers of labels, such as stereo, motion, image restoration, and scene reconstruction. We give a precise characterization of what energy functions can be minimized using graph cuts, among the energy functions that can be written as a sum of terms containing three or fewer binary variables. We also provide a generalpurpose construction to minimize such an energy function. Finally, we give a necessary condition for any energy function of binary variables to be minimized by graph cuts. Researchers who are considering the use of graph cuts to optimize a particular energy function can use our results to determine if this is possible and then follow our construction to create the appropriate graph. A software implementation is freely available.
Interactive Graph Cuts for Optimal Boundary & Region Segmentation of Objects in ND Images
, 2001
"... In this paper we describe a new technique for general purpose interactive segmentation of Ndimensional images. The user marks certain pixels as “object” or “background” to provide hard constraints for segmentation. Additional soft constraints incorporate both boundary and region information. Graph ..."
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Cited by 1013 (20 self)
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In this paper we describe a new technique for general purpose interactive segmentation of Ndimensional images. The user marks certain pixels as “object” or “background” to provide hard constraints for segmentation. Additional soft constraints incorporate both boundary and region information. Graph cuts are used to find the globally optimal segmentation of the Ndimensional image. The obtained solution gives the best balance of boundary and region properties among all segmentations satisfying the constraints. The topology of our segmentation is unrestricted and both “object” and “background” segments may consist of several isolated parts. Some experimental results are presented in the context of photo/video editing and medical image segmentation. We also demonstrate an interesting Gestalt example. A fast implementation of our segmentation method is possible via a new maxflow algorithm in [2].
Convergent Treereweighted Message Passing for Energy Minimization
 ACCEPTED TO IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE (PAMI), 2006. ABSTRACTACCEPTED TO IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE (PAMI)
, 2006
"... Algorithms for discrete energy minimization are of fundamental importance in computer vision. In this paper we focus on the recent technique proposed by Wainwright et al. [33] treereweighted maxproduct message passing (TRW). It was inspired by the problem of maximizing a lower bound on the energy ..."
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Cited by 488 (16 self)
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Algorithms for discrete energy minimization are of fundamental importance in computer vision. In this paper we focus on the recent technique proposed by Wainwright et al. [33] treereweighted maxproduct message passing (TRW). It was inspired by the problem of maximizing a lower bound on the energy. However, the algorithm is not guaranteed to increase this bound it may actually go down. In addition, TRW does not always converge. We develop a modification of this algorithm which we call sequential treereweighted message passing. Its main property is that the bound is guaranteed not to decrease. We also give a weak tree agreement condition which characterizes local maxima of the bound with respect to TRW algorithms. We prove that our algorithm has a limit point that achieves weak tree agreement. Finally, we show that our algorithm requires half as much memory as traditional message passing approaches. Experimental results demonstrate that on certain synthetic and real problems our algorithm outperforms both the ordinary belief propagation and treereweighted algorithm in [33]. In addition, on stereo problems with Potts interactions we obtain a lower energy than graph cuts.
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
Random walks for image segmentation
 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE
, 2006
"... A novel method is proposed for performing multilabel, interactive image segmentation. Given a small number of pixels with userdefined (or predefined) labels, one can analytically and quickly determine the probability that a random walker starting at each unlabeled pixel will first reach one of the ..."
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Cited by 388 (21 self)
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A novel method is proposed for performing multilabel, interactive image segmentation. Given a small number of pixels with userdefined (or predefined) labels, one can analytically and quickly determine the probability that a random walker starting at each unlabeled pixel will first reach one of the prelabeled pixels. By assigning each pixel to the label for which the greatest probability is calculated, a highquality image segmentation may be obtained. Theoretical properties of this algorithm are developed along with the corresponding connections to discrete potential theory and electrical circuits. This algorithm is formulated in discrete space (i.e., on a graph) using combinatorial analogues of standard operators and principles from continuous potential theory, allowing it to be applied in arbitrary dimension on arbitrary graphs.
Computing Visual Correspondence with Occlusions using Graph Cuts
"... Several new algorithms for visual correspondence based on graph cuts [7, 14, 17] have recently been developed. While these methods give very strong results in practice, they do not handle occlusions properly. Specifically, they treat the two input images asymmetrically, and they do not ensure that a ..."
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Cited by 365 (11 self)
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Several new algorithms for visual correspondence based on graph cuts [7, 14, 17] have recently been developed. While these methods give very strong results in practice, they do not handle occlusions properly. Specifically, they treat the two input images asymmetrically, and they do not ensure that a pixel corresponds to at most one pixel in the other image. In this paper, we present a new method which properly addresses occlusions, while preserving the advantages of graph cut algorithms. We give experimental results for stereo as well as motion, which demonstrate that our method performs well both at detecting occlusions and computing disparities.
Multicamera Scene Reconstruction via Graph Cuts
 in European Conference on Computer Vision
, 2002
"... We address the problem of computing the 3dimensional shape of an arbitrary scene from a set of images taken at known viewpoints. ..."
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Cited by 317 (9 self)
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We address the problem of computing the 3dimensional shape of an arbitrary scene from a set of images taken at known viewpoints.
Graph Cuts and Efficient ND Image Segmentation
, 2006
"... Combinatorial graph cut algorithms have been successfully applied to a wide range of problems in vision and graphics. This paper focusses on possibly the simplest application of graphcuts: segmentation of objects in image data. Despite its simplicity, this application epitomizes the best features ..."
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Cited by 308 (7 self)
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Combinatorial graph cut algorithms have been successfully applied to a wide range of problems in vision and graphics. This paper focusses on possibly the simplest application of graphcuts: segmentation of objects in image data. Despite its simplicity, this application epitomizes the best features of combinatorial graph cuts methods in vision: global optima, practical efficiency, numerical robustness, ability to fuse a wide range of visual cues and constraints, unrestricted topological properties of segments, and applicability to ND problems. Graph cuts based approaches to object extraction have also been shown to have interesting connections with earlier segmentation methods such as snakes, geodesic active contours, and levelsets. The segmentation energies optimized by graph cuts combine boundary regularization with regionbased properties in the same fashion as MumfordShah style functionals. We present motivation and detailed technical description of the basic combinatorial optimization framework for image segmentation via s/t graph cuts. After the general concept of using binary graph cut algorithms for object segmentation was first proposed and tested in Boykov and Jolly (2001), this idea was widely studied in computer vision and graphics communities. We provide links to a large number of known extensions based on iterative parameter reestimation and learning, multiscale or hierarchical approaches, narrow bands, and other techniques for demanding photo, video, and medical applications.