LEARNING SHAPE AND MOTION FROM IMAGE SEQUENCES
In Chapter 2, Puskorius and Feldkamp described a procedure for the supervised training of a recurrent multilayer perceptron – the node-decoupled extended Kalman filter (NDEKF) algorithm. We now use this model to deal with high-dimensional signals: moving visual images. Many complexities arise in visual processing that are not present in one-dimensional prediction problems: the scene may be cluttered with back-
ground objects, the object of interest may be occluded, and the system may have to deal with tracking differently shaped objects at different times. The problem we have dealt with initially is tracking objects that vary in both shape and location. Tracking differently shaped objects is challenging for a system that begins by performing local feature extrac-tion, because the features of two different objects may appear identical locally even though the objects differ in global shape (e.g., squares versus rectangles). However, adequate tracking may still be achievable without a perfect three-dimensional model of the object, using locally extracted features as a starting point, provided there is continuity between image frames.
Our neural network model is able to make use of short-term continuity to track a range of different geometric shapes (circles, squares, and triangles). We evaluate the model’s abilities in three experiments. In the first experiment, the model was trained on images of two different moving shapes, where each shape had its own characteristic movement trajectory. In the second experiment, the training set was made more difficult by adding a third object, which also had a unique motion trajectory. In the third and final experiment, the restriction of one direction of motion per shape was lifted. Thus, the model experienced the same shape traveling in different trajectories, as well as different shapes traveling in the same trajectory. Even under these conditions, the model was able to learn to track a given shape for many time steps and anticipate both its shape and location many time steps into the future.