Automatic Soccer Player Tracking in Single Camera with Robust Occlusion Handling Using Attribute Matching

Houari SABIRIN  Hiroshi SANKOH  Sei NAITO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E98-D   No.8   pp.1580-1588
Publication Date: 2015/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2014EDP7313
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Image Recognition, Computer Vision
free viewpoint,  attribute matching,  automatic object tracking,  soccer video,  

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This paper presents an automatic method to track soccer players in soccer video recorded from a single camera where the occurrence of pan-tilt-zoom can take place. The automatic object tracking is intended to support texture extraction in a free viewpoint video authoring application for soccer video. To ensure that the identity of the tracked object can be correctly obtained, background segmentation is performed and automatically removes commercial billboards whenever it overlaps with the soccer player. Next, object tracking is performed by an attribute matching algorithm for all objects in the temporal domain to find and maintain the correlation of the detected objects. The attribute matching process finds the best match between two objects in different frames according to their pre-determined attributes: position, size, dominant color and motion information. Utilizing these attributes, the experimental results show that the tracking process can handle occlusion problems such as occlusion involving more than three objects and occluded objects with similar color and moving direction, as well as correctly identify objects in the presence of camera movements.