Learning to detect natural image boundaries using local brightness, color, and texture cues

IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell. 2004 May;26(5):530-49. doi: 10.1109/TPAMI.2004.1273918.


The goal of this work is to accurately detect and localize boundaries in natural scenes using local image measurements. We formulate features that respond to characteristic changes in brightness, color, and texture associated with natural boundaries. In order to combine the information from these features in an optimal way, we train a classifier using human labeled images as ground truth. The output of this classifier provides the posterior probability of a boundary at each image location and orientation. We present precision-recall curves showing that the resulting detector significantly outperforms existing approaches. Our two main results are 1) that cue combination can be performed adequately with a simple linear model and 2) that a proper, explicit treatment of texture is required to detect boundaries in natural images.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Color
  • Computer Graphics
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / methods
  • Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Subtraction Technique*
  • User-Computer Interface