Technical Reports (CIS)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

June 1991


University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science Technical Report No. MS-CIS-91-45.


The problem of part definition, description, and decomposition is central to the shape recognition systems. In this dissertation, we develop an integrated framework for segmenting dense range data of complex 3-D scenes into their constituent parts in terms of surface and volumetric primitives. Unlike previous approaches, we use geometric properties derived from surface, as well as volumetric models, to recover structured descriptions of complex objects without a priori domain knowledge or stored models.

To recover shape descriptions, we use bi-quadric models for surface representation and superquadric models for object-centered volumetric representation. The surface segmentation uses a novel approach of searching for the best piecewise description of the image in terms of bi-quadric (z = f(x,y)) models. It is used to generate the region adjacency graphs, to localize surface discontinuities, and to derive global shape properties of the surfaces. A superquadric model is recovered for the entire data set and residuals are computed to evaluate the fit. The goodness-of-fit value based on the inside-outside function, and the mean-squared distance of data from the model provide quantitative evaluation of the model. The qualitative evaluation criteria check the local consistency of the model in the form of residual maps of overestimated and underestimated data regions.

The control structure invokes the models in a systematic manner, evaluates the intermediate descriptions, and integrates them to achieve final segmentation. Superquadric and bi-quadric models are recovered in parallel to incorporate the best of the coarse-to-fine and fine-to-coarse segmentation strategies. The model evaluation criteria determine the dimensionality of the scene, and decide whether to terminate the procedure, or selectively refine the segmentation by following a global-to-local part segmentation approach. The control module generates hypotheses about superquadric models at clusters of underestimated data and performs controlled extrapolation of the part-model by shrinking the global model. As the global model shrinks and the local models grow, they are evaluated and tested for termination or further segmentation.

We present results on real range images of scenes of varying complexity, including objects with occluding parts, and scenes where surface segmentation is not sufficient to guide the volumetric segmentation. We analyze the issue of segmentation of complex scenes thoroughly by studying the effect of missing data on volumetric model recovery, generating object-centered descriptions, and presenting a complete set of criteria for the evaluation of the superquadric models. We conclude by discussing the applications of our approach in data reduction, 3-D object recognition, geometric modeling, automatic model generation. object manipulation, and active vision.



Date Posted: 13 August 2007