Visual Tracking in Occlusion Environments by Autonomous Switching of Targets

Jun-ichi IMAI  Masahide KANEKO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E91-D   No.1   pp.86-95
Publication Date: 2008/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e91-d.1.86
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Image Recognition, Computer Vision
visual tracking,  occlusion,  autonomous switching of targets,  particle filter,  

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Visual tracking is required by many vision applications such as human-computer interfaces and human-robot interactions. However, in daily living spaces where such applications are assumed to be used, stable tracking is often difficult because there are many objects which can cause the visual occlusion. While conventional tracking techniques can handle, to some extent, partial and short-term occlusion, they fail when presented with complete occlusion over long periods. They also cannot handle the case that an occluder such as a box and a bag contains and carries the tracking target inside itself, that is, the case that the target invisibly moves while being contained by the occluder. In this paper, to handle this occlusion problem, we propose a method for visual tracking by a particle filter, which switches tracking targets autonomously. In our method, if occlusion occurs during tracking, a model of the occluder is dynamically created and the tracking target is switched to this model. Thus, our method enables the tracker to indirectly track the "invisible target" by switching its target to the occluder effectively. Experimental results show the effectiveness of our method.