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An Experimental Comparison of MinCut/MaxFlow Algorithms for Energy Minimization in Vision
 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE
, 2001
"... After [10, 15, 12, 2, 4] minimum cut/maximum flow algorithms on graphs emerged as an increasingly useful tool for exact or approximate energy minimization in lowlevel vision. The combinatorial optimization literature provides many mincut/maxflow algorithms with different polynomial time compl ..."
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Cited by 1311 (54 self)
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After [10, 15, 12, 2, 4] minimum cut/maximum flow algorithms on graphs emerged as an increasingly useful tool for exact or approximate energy minimization in lowlevel vision. The combinatorial optimization literature provides many mincut/maxflow algorithms with different polynomial time complexity. Their practical efficiency, however, has to date been studied mainly outside the scope of computer vision. The goal of this paper
"GrabCut”  interactive foreground extraction using iterated graph cuts
 ACM TRANS. GRAPH
, 2004
"... The problem of efficient, interactive foreground/background segmentation in still images is of great practical importance in image editing. Classical image segmentation tools use either texture (colour) information, e.g. Magic Wand, or edge (contrast) information, e.g. Intelligent Scissors. Recently ..."
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Cited by 1140 (36 self)
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The problem of efficient, interactive foreground/background segmentation in still images is of great practical importance in image editing. Classical image segmentation tools use either texture (colour) information, e.g. Magic Wand, or edge (contrast) information, e.g. Intelligent Scissors. Recently, an approach based on optimization by graphcut has been developed which successfully combines both types of information. In this paper we extend the graphcut approach in three respects. First, we have developed a more powerful, iterative version of the optimisation. Secondly, the power of the iterative algorithm is used to simplify substantially the user interaction needed for a given quality of result. Thirdly, a robust algorithm for “border matting ” has been developed to estimate simultaneously the alphamatte around an object boundary and the colours of foreground pixels. We show that for moderately difficult examples the proposed method outperforms competitive tools.
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 1047 (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.
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 491 (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.
TextonBoost: Joint Appearance, Shape and Context Modeling for MultiClass Object . . .
 IN ECCV
, 2006
"... This paper proposes a new approach to learning a discriminative model of object classes, incorporating appearance, shape and context information efficiently. The learned model is used for automatic visual recognition and semantic segmentation of photographs. Our discriminative model exploits nov ..."
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Cited by 427 (19 self)
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This paper proposes a new approach to learning a discriminative model of object classes, incorporating appearance, shape and context information efficiently. The learned model is used for automatic visual recognition and semantic segmentation of photographs. Our discriminative model exploits novel features, based on textons, which jointly model shape and texture. Unary classification and feature selection is achieved using shared boosting to give an efficient classifier which can be applied to a large number of classes. Accurate image segmentation is achieved by incorporating these classifiers in a conditional random field. Efficient training
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 414 (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
"... Abstract—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 on ..."
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Cited by 385 (21 self)
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Abstract—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. Index Terms—Image segmentation, interactive segmentation, graph theory, random walks, combinatorial Dirichlet problem, harmonic functions, Laplace equation, graph cuts, boundary completion. Ç 1
Contour Detection and Hierarchical Image Segmentation
 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE
, 2010
"... This paper investigates two fundamental problems in computer vision: contour detection and image segmentation. We present stateoftheart algorithms for both of these tasks. Our contour detector combines multiple local cues into a globalization framework based on spectral clustering. Our segmentati ..."
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Cited by 383 (23 self)
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This paper investigates two fundamental problems in computer vision: contour detection and image segmentation. We present stateoftheart algorithms for both of these tasks. Our contour detector combines multiple local cues into a globalization framework based on spectral clustering. Our segmentation algorithm consists of generic machinery for transforming the output of any contour detector into a hierarchical region tree. In this manner, we reduce the problem of image segmentation to that of contour detection. Extensive experimental evaluation demonstrates that both our contour detection and segmentation methods significantly outperform competing algorithms. The automatically generated hierarchical segmentations can be interactively refined by userspecified annotations. Computation at multiple image resolutions provides a means of coupling our system to recognition applications.
Seam carving for contentaware image resizing
 ACM Trans. Graph
, 2007
"... Figure 1: A seam is a connected path of low energy pixels in an image. On the left is the original image with one horizontal and one vertical seam. In the middle the energy function used in this example is shown (the magnitude of the gradient), along with the vertical and horizontal path maps used t ..."
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Cited by 316 (11 self)
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Figure 1: A seam is a connected path of low energy pixels in an image. On the left is the original image with one horizontal and one vertical seam. In the middle the energy function used in this example is shown (the magnitude of the gradient), along with the vertical and horizontal path maps used to calculate the seams. By automatically carving out seams to reduce image size, and inserting seams to extend it, we achieve contentaware resizing. The example on the top right shows our result of extending in one dimension and reducing in the other, compared to standard scaling on the bottom right. Effective resizing of images should not only use geometric constraints, but consider the image content as well. We present a simple image operator called seam carving that supports contentaware image resizing for both reduction and expansion. A seam is an optimal 8connected path of pixels on a single image from top to bottom, or left to right, where optimality is defined by an image energy function. By repeatedly carving out or inserting seams in one direction we can change the aspect ratio of an image. By applying these operators in both directions we can retarget the image to a new size. The selection and order of seams protect the content of the image, as defined by the energy function. Seam carving can also be used for image content enhancement and object removal. We support various visual saliency measures for defining the energy of an image, and can also include user input to guide the process. By storing the order of seams in an image we create multisize images, that are able to continuously change in real time to fit a given size.
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 304 (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.