- The visual extent of an object: suppose we know the object locations
- International Journal of Computer Vision
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- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Informatics Institute (IVI)
The visual extent of an object reaches beyond the object itself. This is a long standing fact in psychology and is reflected in image retrieval techniques which aggregate statistics from the whole image in order to identify the object within. However, it is unclear to what degree and how the visual extent of an object affects classification performance. In this paper we investigate the visual extent of an object on the Pascal VOC dataset using a Bag-of-Words implementation with (colour) SIFT descriptors.
Our analysis is performed from two angles. (a) Not knowing the object location, we determine where in the image the support for object classification resides. We call this the normal situation. (b) Assuming that the object location is known, we evaluate the relative potential of the object and its surround, and of the object border and object interior. We call this the ideal situation. Our most important discoveries are: (i) Surroundings can adequately distinguish between groups of classes: furniture, animals, and land-vehicles. For distinguishing categories within one group the surroundings become a source of confusion. (ii) The physically rigid plane, bike, bus, car, and train classes are recognised by interior boundaries and shape, not by texture. The non-rigid animals dog, cat, cow, and sheep are recognised primarily by texture, i.e. fur, as their projected shape varies greatly. (iii) We confirm an early observation from human psychology (Biederman in Perceptual Organization, pp. 213-263, 1981): in the ideal situation with known object locations, recognition is no longer improved by considering surroundings. In contrast, in the normal situation with unknown object locations, the surroundings significantly contribute to the recognition of most classes.
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