Joint Probabilistic Matching Using m-Best Solutions

Matching between two sets of objects is typically approached by finding the object pairs that collectively maximize the joint matching score. In this paper, we argue that this single solution does not necessarily lead to the optimal matching accuracy and that general one-to-one assignment problems can be improved by considering multiple hypotheses before computing the final similarity measure. To that end, we propose to utilize the marginal distributions for each entity. Previously, this idea has been neglected mainly because exact marginalization is intractable due to a combinatorial number of all possible matching permutations. Here, we propose a generic approach to efficiently approximate the marginal distributions by exploiting the m-best solutions of the original problem. This approach not only improves the matching solution, but also provides more accurate ranking of the results, because of the extra information included in the marginal distribution. We validate our claim on two distinct objectives: (i) person re-identification and temporal matching modelled as an integer linear program, and (ii) feature point matching using a quadratic cost function. Our experiments confirm that marginalization indeed leads to superior performance compared to the single (nearly) optimal solution, yielding state-of-the-art results in both applications on standard benchmarks.

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