Representing probability distributions of image segments and segmentations

Steven M. LaValle, Seth A. Hutchinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Segmentation is the problem of partitioning an image into a small number of regions, each of which is uniform or homogeneous in some sense. Although traditional approaches produce an optimal (or near-optimal) segmentation with respect to the chosen models, the problem is generally considered under-constrained. Consequently, the segmentation may not contain the best homogeneous regions needed by some higher-level process (i.e. a recognition system cannot exert complex model-based influences directly on the selection of an optimal segmentation). We develop a method for probabilistically maintaining sets of alternative homogeneous regions, and segmentations. Depending on the image sise and complexity, and on the application, a probability distribution can be constructed over the entire image, or a distribution over partial segmentations can be formed. We develop an efficient representation structure, and a probabilistic mechanism for applying Bayesian, model-based evidence to guide the construction of the representation and influence the resulting posterior distribution over the space of alternatives. Our formalism is applied to range images using a piecewise-planar model with additive Gaussian noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication1992 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics
Subtitle of host publicationEmergent Innovations in Information Transfer Processing and Decision Making, SMC 1992
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)0780307208, 9780780307209
StatePublished - 1992
EventIEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMC 1992 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Oct 18 1992Oct 21 1992

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics
ISSN (Print)1062-922X


OtherIEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMC 1992
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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