Feature Matching for Object Localization in the Presence of Uncertainty

Unknown author (1990-05-01)

We consider the problem of matching model and sensory data features in the presence of geometric uncertainty, for the purpose of object localization and identification. The problem is to construct sets of model feature and sensory data feature pairs that are geometrically consistent given that there is uncertainty in the geometry of the sensory data features. If there is no geometric uncertainty, polynomial-time algorithms are possible for feature matching, yet these approaches can fail when there is uncertainty in the geometry of data features. Existing matching and recognition techniques which account for the geometric uncertainty in features either cannot guarantee finding a correct solution, or can construct geometrically consistent sets of feature pairs yet have worst case exponential complexity in terms of the number of features. The major new contribution of this work is to demonstrate a polynomial-time algorithm for constructing sets of geometrically consistent feature pairs given uncertainty in the geometry of the data features. We show that under a certain model of geometric uncertainty the feature matching problem in the presence of uncertainty is of polynomial complexity. This has important theoretical implications by demonstrating an upper bound on the complexity of the matching problem, an by offering insight into the nature of the matching problem itself. These insights prove useful in the solution to the matching problem in higher dimensional cases as well, such as matching three-dimensional models to either two or three-dimensional sensory data. The approach is based on an analysis of the space of feasible transformation parameters. This paper outlines the mathematical basis for the method, and describes the implementation of an algorithm for the procedure. Experiments demonstrating the method are reported.