Least Squares Normalized Cross Correlation

10 Oct 2018  ·  Oliver J. Woodford ·

Direct methods are widely used for alignment of models to images, due to their accuracy, since they minimize errors in the domain of measurement noise. They have leveraged least squares minimizations, for simple, efficient, variational optimization, since the seminal 1981 work of Lucas & Kanade, and normalized cross correlation (NCC), for robustness to intensity variations, since at least 1972. Despite the complementary benefits of these two well known methods, they have not been effectively combined to address local variations in intensity. Many ad-hoc NCC frameworks, sub-optimal least squares methods and image transformation approaches have thus been proposed instead, each with their own limitations. This work shows that a least squares optimization of NCC without approximation is not only possible, but straightforward and efficient. A robust, locally normalized formulation is introduced to mitigate local intensity variations and partial occlusions. Finally, sparse features with oriented patches are proposed for further efficiency. The resulting framework is simple to implement, computationally efficient and robust to local intensity variations. It is evaluated on the image alignment problem, showing improvements in both convergence rate and computation time over existing lighting invariant methods.

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