Handling of split-and-merge effects and occlusions using feature-based probabilistic data association

Conference paper


Michael Grinberg
Florian Ohr


David Casasent, Ernest Hall, Juha Röning (eds.), Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XXVII: Algorithms and Techniques, Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 7539, 2010.


IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging, San Jose, USA, January 17 - 21, 2010

One of the big challenges in multi-target tracking is the track management and correct data association between measurements and tracks. Major reason for tracking errors are detection failures such as merged, split, incomplete or missed detections as well as clutter-based detections (phantom objects). Those effects combined with uncertainties in existence and number of objects in the scene as well as uncertainties in their observability and dynamic object state lead to gross tracking errors. In this contribution we present an algorithm for visual detection and tracking of multiple extended targets which is capable of coping with occlusions and split and merge effects. Unlike most of the state-of-the-art approaches we utilize information about the measurements' composition gained through tracking dedicated feature points in the image and in 3D space, which allows us to reconstruct the desired object characteristics from the data even in the case of detection errors due to above-mentioned reasons. The proposed Feature-Based Probabilistic Data Association approach resolves data association ambiguities in a soft threshold-free decision based not only on target state prediction but also on the existence and observability estimation modeled as two additional Markov chains. A novel measurement reconstruction scheme allows for a correct innovation in case of split, merged and incomplete measurements realizing thus a detection-by-tracking approach. This process is assisted by a grid based object representation which offers a lower abstraction level of targets extent and is used for detailed occlusion analysis.