A Hierarchical Compositional System for Rapid Object Detection

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 18 (NIPS 2005)

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Long Zhu, Alan L. Yuille


We describe a hierarchical compositional system for detecting deformable objects in images. Objects are represented by graphical models. The algorithm uses a hierarchical tree where the root of the tree corresponds to the full object and lower-level elements of the tree correspond to simpler features. The algorithm proceeds by passing simple messages up and down the tree. The method works rapidly, in under a second, on 320 240 images. We demonstrate the approach on detecting cats, horses, and hands. The method works in the presence of background clutter and occlusions. Our approach is contrasted with more traditional methods such as dynamic programming and belief propagation.