Superpixels and Supervoxels in an Energy Optimization Framework

Olga Veksler, Yuri Boykov, Paria Mehrani

In European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), Vol.III, LNCS 6315, pp.211-224, Crete, Greece, September, 2010.


Many methods for object recognition, segmentation, etc., rely on tessellation of an image into superpixels. A superpixel is an image patch which is better aligned with intensity edges than a rectangular patch. Superpixels can be extracted with any segmentation algorithm, however, most of them produce highly irregular superpixels, with widely varying sizes and shapes. A more regular space tessellation may be desired. We formulate the superpixel partitioning problem in an energy minimization framework, and optimize with graph cuts. Our energy function explicitly encourages regular superpixels. We explore variations of the basic energy, which allow a trade-off between a less regular tessellation but more accurate boundaries or better efficiency. Our advantage over previous work is computational efficiency, principled optimization, and applicability to 3D supervoxel segmentation. We achieve high boundary recall on 2D images and spatial coherence on video. We also show that compact superpixels improve accuracy on a simple application of salient object segmentation.

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