Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 20 (NIPS 2007)
Bill Triggs, Jakob Verbeek
Conditional Random Fields (CRFs) are an effective tool for a variety of different data segmentation and labeling tasks including visual scene interpretation, which seeks to partition images into their constituent semantic-level regions and assign appropriate class labels to each region. For accurate labeling it is important to capture the global context of the image as well as local information. We in- troduce a CRF based scene labeling model that incorporates both local features and features aggregated over the whole image or large sections of it. Secondly, traditional CRF learning requires fully labeled datasets which can be costly and troublesome to produce. We introduce a method for learning CRFs from datasets with many unlabeled nodes by marginalizing out the unknown labels so that the log-likelihood of the known ones can be maximized by gradient ascent. Loopy Belief Propagation is used to approximate the marginals needed for the gradi- ent and log-likelihood calculations and the Bethe free-energy approximation to the log-likelihood is monitored to control the step size. Our experimental results show that effective models can be learned from fragmentary labelings and that incorporating top-down aggregate features signiﬁcantly improves the segmenta- tions. The resulting segmentations are compared to the state-of-the-art on three different image datasets.