Visual Integration and Detection of Discontinuities: The Key Role of Intensity Edges
Integration of several vision modules is likely to be one of the keys to the power and robustness of the human visual system. The problem of integrating early vision cues is also emerging as a central problem in current computer vision research. In this paper we suggest that integration is best performed at the location of discontinuities in early processes, such as discontinuities in image brightness, depth, motion, texture and color. Coupled Markov Random Field models, based on Bayes estimation techiques, can be used to combine vision modalities with their discontinuities. These models generate algorithms that map naturally onto parallel fine-grained architectures such as the Connection Machine. We derive a scheme to integrate intensity edges with stereo depth and motion field information and show results on synthetic and natural images. The use of intensity edges to integrate other visual cues and to help discover discontinuities emerges as a general and powerful principle.