A hierarchical active binocular robot vision architecture for scene exploration and object appearance learning

Aragon Camarasa, Gerardo (2012) A hierarchical active binocular robot vision architecture for scene exploration and object appearance learning. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis presents an investigation of a computational model of hierarchical visual behaviours within an active binocular robot vision architecture. The robot vision system is able to localise multiple instances of the same object class, while simultaneously maintaining vergence and directing its gaze to attend and recognise objects within cluttered, complex scenes. This is achieved by implementing all image analysis in an egocentric symbolic space without creating explicit pixel-space maps and without the need for calibration or other knowledge of the camera geometry. One of the important aspects of the active binocular vision paradigm requires that visual features in both camera eyes must be bound together in order to drive visual search to saccade, locate and recognise putative objects or salient locations in the robot's field of view. The system structure is based on the “attentional spotlight” metaphor of biological systems and a collection of abstract and reactive visual behaviours arranged in a hierarchical structure.

Several studies have shown that the human brain represents and learns objects for recognition by snapshots of 2-dimensional views of the imaged scene that happens to contain the object of interest during active interaction (exploration) of the environment. Likewise, psychophysical findings specify that the primate’s visual cortex represents common everyday objects by a hierarchical structure of their parts or sub-features and, consequently, recognise by simple but imperfect 2D view object part approximations. This thesis incorporates the above observations into an active visual learning behaviour in the hierarchical active binocular robot vision architecture. By actively exploring the object viewing sphere (as higher mammals do), the robot vision system automatically synthesises and creates its own part-based object representation from multiple observations while a human teacher indicates the object and supplies a classification name. Its is proposed to adopt the computational concepts of a visual learning exploration mechanism that controls the accumulation of visual evidence and directs attention towards the spatial salient object parts.

The behavioural structure of the binocular robot vision architecture is loosely modelled by a WHAT and WHERE visual streams. The WHERE stream maintains and binds spatial attention on the object part coordinates that egocentrically characterises the location of the object of interest and extracts spatio-temporal properties of feature coordinates and descriptors. The WHAT stream either determines the identity of an object or triggers a learning behaviour that stores view-invariant feature descriptions of the object part. Therefore, the robot vision is capable to perform a collection of different specific visual tasks such as vergence, detection, discrimination, recognition localisation and multiple same-instance identification. This classification of tasks enables the robot vision system to execute and fulfil specified high-level tasks, e.g. autonomous scene exploration and active object appearance learning.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: active vision, robot vision, object learning, autonomous visual exploration, robotics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Supervisor's Name: Siebert, Dr. J. Paul
Date of Award: 2012
Depositing User: Mr Gerardo Aragon Camarasa
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-3640
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2012
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 14:09
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/3640

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