Reliability analysis of transform-based stereo matching techniques, and a new matching constraint

Banks, Jasmine (2000) Reliability analysis of transform-based stereo matching techniques, and a new matching constraint. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Stereo vision is a method of depth perception, in which depth information is inferred from two (or more) images of a scene, taken from different perspectives. Practical applications for stereo vision include aerial photogrammetry, autonomous vehicle guidance, robotics and industrial automation. The initial motivation behind this work was to produce a stereo vision sensor for mining automation applications. For such applications, the input stereo images would consist of close range scenes of rocks.

A fundamental problem faced by matching algorithms is the matching or correspondence problem. This problem involves locating corresponding points or features in two images. For this application, speed, reliability, and the ability to produce a dense depth map are of foremost importance. This work implemented a number of areabased matching algorithms to assess their suitability for this application. Area-based techniques were investigated because of their potential to yield dense depth maps, their amenability to fast hardware implementation, and their suitability to textured scenes such as rocks. In addition, two non-parametric transforms, the rank and census, were also compared. Both the rank and the census transforms were found to result in improved reliability of matching in the presence of radiometric distortion - significant since radiometric distortion is a problem which commonly arises in practice.

In addition, they have low computational complexity, making them amenable to fast hardware implementation. Therefore, it was decided that matching algorithms using these transforms would be the subject of the remainder of the thesis.

An analytic expression for the process of matching using the rank transform was derived from first principles. This work resulted in a number of important contributions.

Firstly, the derivation process resulted in one constraint which must be satisfied for a correct match. This was termed the rank constraint. The theoretical derivation of this constraint is in contrast to the existing matching constraints which have little theoretical basis. Experimental work with actual and contrived stereo pairs has shown that the new constraint is capable of resolving ambiguous matches, thereby improving match reliability. Secondly, a novel matching algorithm incorporating the rank constraint has been proposed. This algorithm was tested using a number of stereo pairs.

In all cases, the modified algorithm consistently resulted in an increased proportion of correct matches. Finally, the rank constraint was used to devise a new method for identifying regions of an image where the rank transform, and hence matching, are more susceptible to noise.

The rank constraint was also incorporated into a new hybrid matching algorithm, where it was combined a number of other ideas. These included the use of an image pyramid for match prediction, and a method of edge localisation to improve match accuracy in the vicinity of edges. Experimental results obtained from the new algorithm showed that the algorithm is able to remove a large proportion of invalid matches, and improve match accuracy.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 36106
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Refereed: No
Supervisor: Bennamoun, Mohammed & Corke, Peter
Additional Information: Presented to the Space Centre for Satellite Navigation, Queensland University of Technology.
Keywords: Depth perception, Mining engineering Automation, Algorithms, stereo vision, image matching, mining automation, correspondence, depth map, disparity, area-based, feature-based, transform-based, non-parametric, rank, census, speed, reliability, accuracy, constraints, diagnostics, epipolar, left-right, ordering, blandness, disparity gradient, probility, invalid match, rank constraint, hybrid algorithm, thesis, doctoral
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Jasmine Banks
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:04
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2016 06:50

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