Aggregation of pixel based motion detection into regions of interest, which include views of single moving objects in a scene is an essential pre-processing step in many vision systems. Motion events of this type provide significant information about the object type or build the basis for action recognition. Further, motion is an essential saliency measure, which is able to effectively support high level image analysis. When applied to static cameras, background subtraction methods achieve good results. On the other hand, motion aggregation on freely moving cameras is still a widely unsolved problem. The image flow, measured on a freely moving camera is the result from two major motion types. First the ego-motion of the camera and second object motion, that is independent from the camera motion. When capturing a scene with a camera these two motion types are adverse blended together.
In this paper, we propose an approach to detect multiple moving objects from a mobile monocular camera system in an outdoor environment. The overall processing pipeline consists of a fast ego-motion compensation algorithm in the preprocessing stage. Real-time performance is achieved by using a sparse optical flow algorithm as an initial processing stage and a densely applied probabilistic filter in the post-processing stage. Thereby, we follow the idea proposed by Jung and Sukhatme. Normalized intensity differences originating from a sequence of ego-motion compensated difference images represent the probability of moving objects. Noise and registration artefacts are filtered out, using a Bayesian formulation. The resulting a posteriori distribution is located on image regions, showing strong amplitudes in the difference image which are in accordance with the motion prediction. In order to effectively estimate the a posteriori distribution, a particle filter is used.
In addition to the fast ego-motion compensation, the main contribution of this paper is the design of the probabilistic filter for real-time detection and tracking of independently moving objects. The proposed approach introduces a competition scheme between particles in order to ensure an improved multi-modality. Further, the filter design helps to generate a particle distribution which is homogenous even in the presence of multiple targets showing non-rigid motion patterns. The effectiveness of the method is shown on exemplary outdoor sequences.