Computer System for Visual Recognition Using Active Knowledge

Unknown author (1976-06-01)

A system for visual recognition is described, with implications for the general problem of representation of knowledge to assist control. The immediate objective is a computer system that will recognize objects in a visual scene, specifically hammers. The computer receives an array of light intensities from a device like a television camera. It is to locate and identify the hammer if one is present. The computer must produce from the numerical "sensory data" a symbolic description that constitutes its perception of the scene. Of primary concern is the control of the recognition process. Control decisions should be guided by the partial results obtained on the scene. If a hammer handle is observed this should suggest that the handle is part of a hammer and advise where to look for the hammer head. The particular knowledge that a handle has been found combines with general knowledge about hammers to influence the recognition process. This use of knowledge to direct control is denoted here by the term "active knowledge". A descriptive formalism is presented for visual knowledge which identifies the relationships relevant to the active use of the knowledge. A control structure is provided which can apply knowledge organized in this fashion actively to the processing of a given scene.