Improved Image Segmentation via Cost Minimization of Multiple Hypotheses

Image segmentation is an important component of many image understanding systems. It aims to group pixels in a spatially and perceptually coherent manner. Typically, these algorithms have a collection of parameters that control the degree of over-segmentation produced. It still remains a challenge to properly select such parameters for human-like perceptual grouping. In this work, we exploit the diversity of segments produced by different choices of parameters. We scan the segmentation parameter space and generate a collection of image segmentation hypotheses (from highly over-segmented to under-segmented). These are fed into a cost minimization framework that produces the final segmentation by selecting segments that: (1) better describe the natural contours of the image, and (2) are more stable and persistent among all the segmentation hypotheses. We compare our algorithm's performance with state-of-the-art algorithms, showing that we can achieve improved results. We also show that our framework is robust to the choice of segmentation kernel that produces the initial set of hypotheses.

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