Detection, tracking and classification of vehicles in urban environments

Chen, Zezhi (2012) Detection, tracking and classification of vehicles in urban environments. (PhD thesis), Kingston University,


The work presented in this dissertation provides a framework for object detection,tracking and vehicle classification in urban environment. The final aim is to produce a system for traffic flow statistics analysis. Based on level set methods and a multi-phase colour model, a general variational formulation which combines Minkowski-form distance L2 and L3 of each channel and their homogenous regions in the index is defined. The active segmentation method successfully finds whole object boundaries which include different known colours, even in very complex background situations, rather than splitting an object into several regions with different colours. For video data supplied by a nominally stationary camera, an adaptive Gaussian mixture model (GMM), with a multi-dimensional Gaussian kernel spatio-temporal smoothing transform, has been used for modeling the distribution of colour image data. The algorithm improves the segmentation performance in adverse imaging conditions. A self-adaptive Gaussian mixture model, with an online dynamical learning rate and global illumination changing factor, is proposed to address the problem of sudden change in illumination. The effectiveness of a state-of-the-art classification algorithm to categorise road vehicles for an urban traffic monitoring system using a set of measurement-based feature (BMF) and a multi-shape descriptor is investigated. Manual vehicle segmentation was used to acquire a large database of labeled vehicles form a set of MBF in combination with pyramid histogram of orientation gradient (PHOG) and edge-based PHOG features. These are used to classify the objects into four main vehicle categories: car, van (van, minivan, minibus and limousine), bus (single and double decked) and motorcycle (motorcycle and bicycle). Then, an automatic system for vehicle detection, tracking and classification from roadside CCTV is presented. The system counts vehicles and separates them into the four categories mentioned above. The GMM and shadow removal method have been used to deal with sudden illumination changes and camera vibration. A Kalman filter tracks a vehicle to enable classification by majority voting over several consecutive frames, and a level set method has been used to refine the foreground blob. Finally, a framework for confidence based active learning for vehicle classification in an urban traffic environment is presented. Only a small number of low confidence samples need to be identified and annotated according to their confidence. Compared to passive learning, the number of annotated samples needed for the training dataset can be reduced significantly, yielding a high accuracy classifier with low computational complexity and high efficiency.

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