Projects for Fall 2012, CS 250

This web page introduces the six project topics for the class, which focus on computer vision and image processing.

Note that the paper links below will only work when accessed from a UC Berkeley campus IP address, because of publisher copyright restrictions.

To get oriented on the topic, I have collected a few background papers.

And now, onto the projects ...

  1. Optic flow.

    Optic flow is the computation of the direction and magnitude of the movement of patterns in a 2-D image. Key papers in the 1980s defined several approaches to computing optic flow. This project idea is to choose one of the algorithms, and implement it as a vision processor. The processor takes an 2-D image as input, and produces a 2-D optic flow field as output.

    The variational approach to optic flow (Horn and Schunck) is described in this paper. Related theory is described in this paper. FPGA implementations of the algorithm are described in these two papers (one, two). A Matlab implementation is available here. This video shows the algorithm in action.

    The least-squares approach to optic flow (Lucas and Kanade) is described in this paper. An FPGA implementation of the algorithm are described in this paper. A Matlab implementation is available here.

    The correlation approach (Little, Bulthoff, Poggio) is described in these two papers (one, two). A board-level hardware implementation is described here.

    It may also be helpful to read this tutorial on optic flow, although only the 2-D sections of the paper are applicable to us. To get a sense of what a present-day version of an optic flow algorithm looks like, you may want to read this recent paper by Brox and Malik.

  2. Histogram Filters.

    Histogram filters are a general class of nonlinear image processing algorithm. A well-known histogram filter is the median filter.

    For the class project, we focus on a recent formulation of histogram filters from Pixar (Kass and Solomon). The algorithm generalizes the concept in an efficient way, while producing beautiful pictures (as one would expect from Pixar). This paper describes their algorithm. A key reference in their paper (this paper by Deriche) describes the approximation method that produces an efficient filter.

  3. Face Detection.

    Face detecton systems take complicated real-world images that as input, and draw bounding boxes around all faces found in the image.

    The Viola-Jones algorithm is a face detector suitable for implementation as a class project. This paper describes the algorithm, and this paper describes an FPGA implementation of the algorithm.

    The OpenCV toolkit includes an implementation of the Viola-Jones algorithm, including an XML file that codes the learned parameters for the recognition cascade. It may be best to start by reading this documentation about the algorithm in OpenCV, followed by this help page.

    To view the code (including the XML file), download OpenCV and look for apps/HaarFaceDetect.

  4. Edge Detection.

    Edge detection is the automatic tracing of the contours of an image, similar to the pencil sketch an artist makes. It has been a classic problem since the early days of computer vision, and to this day remains a research problem.

    For the class project, we focus on a particular edge detection algorithm by Perona and Malik, described in this paper. Matlab source code is available here.

    We choose this paper because it casts edge detection as the solution of the heat equation (from fluid dynamics). Differential equation solvers are a good fit for parallel hardware.

    For a current-day state of the art edge-detection system, see this recent paper by Arbelaez, Maire, Fowlkes, and Malik.

  5. SIFT Features.

    Image pattern recognition systems often consist of two parts: an image processing system that converts the image to a collection of abstract features, and a pattern recognition engine that uses the feature representation to perform a task.

    A popular feature set is the SIFT features, described in this paper. Your class project would be to design a chip that took images as input, and produced the SIFT representation as output.

    There are many open-source SIFT implementations available on the web, use Google to find the one most useful to bootstrap your project.

  6. Stereopsis.

    A stereo vision module takes in two images (corresponding to the left and right eyes in biological vision) and produces a map of the relative distances (or depths) that we perceive when we use two eyes to view a scene (as opposed to when we close one eye).

    The classic algorithm for computing stereo vision is the Marr-Poggio stereo algorithm, as described in this short paper and this longer paper. A robot vision system based on this algorithm is described in this paper. An analog circuit implementation is described in this paper.

    Stereo vision algorithms whose code is available on the web tend to be the algorithms that improved on the Marr-Poggio approach. Google the terms stereo algorithm matlab to find many examples.