Volumetric Bias in Segmentation and Reconstruction: Secrets and Solutions

Yuri Boykov, Hossam Isack, Carl Olsson, Ismail Ben Ayed

In International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), Santiago, Chile, December, 2015.


Many standard optimization methods for segmentation and reconstruction compute ML model estimates for appearance or geometry of segments, e.g. Zhu-Yuille 1996, Torr 1998, Chan-Vese 2001, GrabCut 2004, Delong et al. 2012. We observe that the standard likelihood term in these formulations corresponds to a generalized probabilistic K-means energy. In learning it is well known that this energy has a strong bias to clusters of equal size, which can be expressed as a penalty for KL divergence from a uniform distribution of cardinalities. However, this volumetric bias has been mostly ignored in computer vision. We demonstrate significant artifacts in standard segmentation and reconstruction methods due to this bias. Moreover, we propose binary and multi-label optimization techniques that either (a) remove this bias or (b) replace it by a KL divergence term for any given target volume distribution. Our general ideas apply to many continuous or discrete energy formulations in segmentation, stereo, and other reconstruction problems.

WHOLE PAPER: pdf (4.3Mb)
TECH.REPORT: arXiv (earlier version)