Faculté des sciences et techniques de l'ingénieur STI, Programme doctoral Informatique, Communications et Information, Institut de génie électrique et électronique IEL (Laboratoire de traitement des signaux 4 LTS4)

On unifying sparsity and geometry for image-based 3D scene representation

Tošic, Ivana ; Frossard, Pascal (Dir.)

Thèse Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL : 2009 ; no 4380.

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    Summary
    Demand has emerged for next generation visual technologies that go beyond conventional 2D imaging. Such technologies should capture and communicate all perceptually relevant three-dimensional information about an environment to a distant observer, providing a satisfying, immersive experience. Camera networks offer a low cost solution to the acquisition of 3D visual information, by capturing multi-view images from different viewpoints. However, the camera's representation of the data is not ideal for common tasks such as data compression or 3D scene analysis, as it does not make the 3D scene geometry explicit. Image-based scene representations fundamentally require a multi-view image model that facilitates extraction of underlying geometrical relationships between the cameras and scene components. Developing new, efficient multi-view image models is thus one of the major challenges in image-based 3D scene representation methods. This dissertation focuses on defining and exploiting a new method for multi-view image representation, from which the 3D geometry information is easily extractable, and which is additionally highly compressible. The method is based on sparse image representation using an overcomplete dictionary of geometric features, where a single image is represented as a linear combination of few fundamental image structure features (edges for example). We construct the dictionary by applying a unitary operator to an analytic function, which introduces a composition of geometric transforms (translations, rotation and anisotropic scaling) to that function. The advantage of this approach is that the features across multiple views can be related with a single composition of transforms. We then establish a connection between image components and scene geometry by defining the transforms that satisfy the multi-view geometry constraint, and obtain a new geometric multi-view correlation model. We first address the construction of dictionaries for images acquired by omnidirectional cameras, which are particularly convenient for scene representation due to their wide field of view. Since most omnidirectional images can be uniquely mapped to spherical images, we form a dictionary by applying motions on the sphere, rotations, and anisotropic scaling to a function that lives on the sphere. We have used this dictionary and a sparse approximation algorithm, Matching Pursuit, for compression of omnidirectional images, and additionally for coding 3D objects represented as spherical signals. Both methods offer better rate-distortion performance than state of the art schemes at low bit rates. The novel multi-view representation method and the dictionary on the sphere are then exploited for the design of a distributed coding method for multi-view omnidirectional images. In a distributed scenario, cameras compress acquired images without communicating with each other. Using a reliable model of correlation between views, distributed coding can achieve higher compression ratios than independent compression of each image. However, the lack of a proper model has been an obstacle for distributed coding in camera networks for many years. We propose to use our geometric correlation model for distributed multi-view image coding with side information. The encoder employs a coset coding strategy, developed by dictionary partitioning based on atom shape similarity and multi-view geometry constraints. Our method results in significant rate savings compared to independent coding. An additional contribution of the proposed correlation model is that it gives information about the scene geometry, leading to a new camera pose estimation method using an extremely small amount of data from each camera. Finally, we develop a method for learning stereo visual dictionaries based on the new multi-view image model. Although dictionary learning for still images has received a lot of attention recently, dictionary learning for stereo images has been investigated only sparingly. Our method maximizes the likelihood that a set of natural stereo images is efficiently represented with selected stereo dictionaries, where the multi-view geometry constraint is included in the probabilistic modeling. Experimental results demonstrate that including the geometric constraints in learning leads to stereo dictionaries that give both better distributed stereo matching and approximation properties than randomly selected dictionaries. We show that learning dictionaries for optimal scene representation based on the novel correlation model improves the camera pose estimation and that it can be beneficial for distributed coding.