Extracting Salient Curves from Images: An Analysis of the Saliency Network
The Saliency Network proposed by Shashua and Ullman is a well-known approach to the problem of extracting salient curves from images while performing gap completion. This paper analyzes the Saliency Network. The Saliency Network is attractive for several reasons. First, the network generally prefers long and smooth curves over short or wiggly ones. While computing saliencies, the network also fills in gaps with smooth completions and tolerates noise. Finally, the network is locally connected, and its size is proportional to the size of the image. Nevertheless, our analysis reveals certain weaknesses with the method. In particular, we show cases in which the most salient element does not lie on the perceptually most salient curve. Furthermore, in some cases the saliency measure changes its preferences when curves are scaled uniformly. Also, we show that for certain fragmented curves the measure prefers large gaps over a few small gaps of the same total size. In addition, we analyze the time complexity required by the method. We show that the number of steps required for convergence in serial implementations is quadratic in the size of the network, and in parallel implementations is linear in the size of the network. We discuss problems due to coarse sampling of the range of possible orientations. We show that with proper sampling the complexity of the network becomes cubic in the size of the network. Finally, we consider the possibility of using the Saliency Network for grouping. We show that the Saliency Network recovers the most salient curve efficiently, but it has problems with identifying any salient curve other than the most salient one.