Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teaching Computers To Recognize Objects

Date:
June 2, 2009
Source:
ICT Results
Summary:
Recognizing objects and groups of objects is something we humans take for granted. For computers, this is far from straightforward. A European project has come up with novel solutions to this conundrum.

Recognising objects and groups of objects is something we humans take for granted. For computers, this is far from straightforward. A European project has come up with novel solutions to this conundrum.

Imagine your friends have blindfolded you and taken you to a “secret location”. When they take off your blindfold, you immediately see a group of people around you and realise that they have thrown you a surprise birthday party. How did you know? Because everyone shouted “surprise”, and there were balloons, a birthday cake and booze.

The question may seem like a silly one, but the processes involved are far from straightforward. In fact, you had to collate an awful lot of visual, as well as other sensory data, cross-reference it with your memories, and make mental deductions.

“Vision is our most important sense and about half of the human brain is involved with vision in one way or another,” explains Luc Van Gool of Belgium’s Leuven University (KUL) who also leads the Computer Vision Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). “Enabling us to recognise the objects and places around us is a task it performs brilliantly.”

In fact, what we regard as the simple process of “recognition” would leave many computers stumped. Even something as apparently simple as recognising a birthday cake would normally require computers to be fed with information on what a cake generally looks like, the various shapes and sizes it comes in, the different forms and numbers of candles and other decorations you are likely to find adorning it, etc.

“The same object will look different depending on the viewpoint, the illumination, or the occlusions caused by other objects in front,” notes Van Gool.

Points of view

In brief, computers might be able to calculate pi to hundreds of decimal points and model complex weather patterns, but they may find it impossible, without complex and painstaking programming, to recognise a human whose grown their hair or realise that Chihuahuas and Dobermans belong to the same species.

Van Gool is involved in a project, Cognitive-Level Annotation Using Latent Statistical Structure (CLASS -- http://class.inrialpes.fr/), which is developing technologies to recognise visually specific objects, such as your car, or classes of object, such as a random car on the street.

“The recognition of an object as belonging to a particular group is a harder problem for a computer than the recognition of a specific object. The reason is that object classes show large variability among their members,” Van Gool points out.

The 3.5-year, EU-funded project managed to achieve technological improvements compared with previous efforts. It developed a system in which the description of the objects is based on the appearance of many separate, small patches. Such localised features give the necessary robustness to deal with the massive variations mentioned earlier. In addition, CLASS created special mechanisms – known as efficient approximate neighbourhood searches – for the comparison of an image or an object with huge numbers of reference images.

A picture speaks a thousand words

The specific object recognition technology developed by CLASS has already found a commercial application. Through a company known as kooaba, CLASS technology enables mobile phone subscribers who install the relevant software to take a photo with their handset of, say, a monument, a film poster, or an album cover and get relevant online information about it.

“It’s like the object itself becomes the link to further information,” observes Van Gool. He expects the application of this technology to expand rapidly. For instance, cities and museums may offer interactive guided tours or guide books through kooaba.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ICT Results. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ICT Results. "Teaching Computers To Recognize Objects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601090029.htm>.
ICT Results. (2009, June 2). Teaching Computers To Recognize Objects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601090029.htm
ICT Results. "Teaching Computers To Recognize Objects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601090029.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Google is changing its search-engine results to protect content producers from piracy — for a price. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Spotify Family A Great Deal Or Catching Up?

Is Spotify Family A Great Deal Or Catching Up?

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Spotify Family lets you add a family member to your account for half price. Although users are excited, it's a move competitors have already made. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins