Computer recognition of occluded curved line drawings
A computer program has been designed to interpret scenes from PEANUTS cartoons, viewing each scene as a two-dimensional representation of an event in the three-dimensional world. Characters are identified by name, their orientation and body position is described, and their relationship to other objects in the scene is indicated. This research is seen as an investigation of the problems in recognising flexible non-geometric objects which are subject to self-occlusion as well as occlusion by other objects. A hierarchy of models containing both shape and relational information has been developed to deal with the flexible cartoon bodies. Although the region is the basic unit used in the analysis, the hierarchy makes use of intermediate models to group individual regions into larger more meaningful functional units. These structures may be shared at a higher level in the hierarchy. Knowledge of model similarities may be applied to select alternative models and conserve some results of an incorrect model application. The various groupings account for differences among the characters or modifications in appearance due to changes in attitude. Context information plays a key role in the selection of models to deal with ambiguous shapes. By emphasising relationships between regions, the need for a precise description of shape is reduced. Occlusion interferes with the model-based analysis by obscuring the essential features required by the models. Both the perceived shape of the regions and the inter-relationships between them are altered. An heuristic based on the analysis of line junctions is used to confirm occlusion as the cause of the failure of a model-to-region match. This heuristic, an extension of the T-joint techniques of polyhedral domains, deals with "curved" junctions and can be applied to cases of multi-layered occlusion. The heuristic was found to be most effective in dealing with occlusion between separate objects; standard instances of self-occlusion were more effectively handled at the model level. This thesis describes the development of the program, structuring the discussion around three main problem areas: models, occlusion, and the control aspects of the system. Relevant portions of the programs analyses are used to illustrate each problem area.