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27 August 2001 Probabilistic approach to model extraction from training data
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Many of the approaches to automatic target recognition (ATR) for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images that have been proposed in the literature fall into one of two broad classes, those based on prediction of images from models (CAD or otherwise) of the targets and those based on templates describing typical received images which are often estimated from sample data. Systems utilizing model-based prediction typically synthesize an expected SAR image given some target class and pose and then search for the combination of class and pose which maximizes some match metric between the synthesized and observed images. This approach has the advantage of being robust with respect to target pose and articulation not previously encountered but does require detailed models of the targets of interest. On the other hand, template-based systems typically do not require detailed target models but instead store expected images for a range of targets and poses based on previous observations (training data) and then search for the template which most closely represents the observed image. We consider the design and use of probabilistic models for targets developed from training data which do not require CAD models of the targets but which can be used in a hypothesize-and-predict manner similar to other model-based approaches. The construction of such models requires the extraction from training data of functions which characterize the target radar cross section in terms of target class, pose, articulation, and other sources of variability. We demonstrate this approach using a conditionally Gaussian model for SAR image data and under that model develop the tools required to determine target models and to use those models to solve inference problems from an image of an unknown target. The conditionally Gaussian model is applied in a target-centered reference frame resulting in a probabilistic model on the surface of the target. The model is segmented based on the information content in regions of the target space. Modeling radar power variability and target positional uncertainty results in improved accuracy. Performance results are presented for both target classification and orientation estimation using the publicly available MSTAR dataset.
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Michael D. DeVore, Joseph A. O'Sullivan, Sushil Anand, and Natalia A. Schmid "Probabilistic approach to model extraction from training data", Proc. SPIE 4382, Algorithms for Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery VIII, (27 August 2001);

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