A Taxonomy of image matching techniques for stereo vision

Banks, Jasmine Elizabeth, Bennamoun, Mohammed, Kubik, Kurt, & Corke, Peter (1997) A Taxonomy of image matching techniques for stereo vision. Technical Report (QUT Space Centre for Satellite Navigation). Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.


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. Applications of stereo vision include aerial photogrammetry, autonomous vehicle guidance, robotics, industrial automation and stereomicroscopy.

A key issue in stereo vision is that of image matching, or identifying corresponding points in a stereo pair. The difference in the positions of corresponding points in image coordinates is termed the parallax or disparity. When the orientation of the two cameras is known, corresponding points may be projected back to find the location of the original object point in world coordinates.

Matching techniques are typically categorised according to the nature of the matching primitives they use and the matching strategy they employ. This report provides a detailed taxonomy of image matching techniques, including area based, transform based, feature based, phase based, hybrid, relaxation based, dynamic programming and object space methods.

A number of area based matching metrics as well as the rank and census transforms were implemented, in order to investigate their suitability for a real-time stereo sensor for mining automation applications. The requirements of this sensor were speed, robustness, and the ability to produce a dense depth map. The Sum of Absolute Differences matching metric was the least computationally expensive; however, this metric was the most sensitive to radiometric distortion. Metrics such as the Zero Mean Sum of Absolute Differences and Normalised Cross Correlation were the most robust to this type of distortion but introduced additional computational complexity. The rank and census transforms were found to be robust to radiometric distortion, in addition to having low computational complexity. They are therefore prime candidates for a matching algorithm for a stereo sensor for real-time mining applications.

A number of issues came to light during this investigation which may merit further work. These include devising a means to evaluate and compare disparity results of different matching algorithms, and finding a method of assigning a level of confidence to a match. Another issue of interest is the possibility of statistically combining the results of different matching algorithms, in order to improve robustness.

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ID Code: 40202
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Keywords: stereo vision, image matching
ISBN: 1864353252
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Computer Vision (080104)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Image Processing (080106)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1997 Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 20 Feb 2011 23:41
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2016 05:54

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