Scale and the Shape/Texture Continuum

Eric Saund
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center


This paper is about the way that spatial scale mediates the relationship between visual shape and visual texture. We seek ultimately representations for significant image events that will support multiple later visual processes, including refinement and exploitation of figure/ground relations (segmentation), indexing and matching with object and scene models, and directing visual attention for the selection and application of further processing steps. These representations should support description of a scene in abundant detail and multiple levels of abstraction, yet favor omission of information that is unlikely to be useful. We introduce the notion of a texture scale-space making explicit the relationship between two scales of interest, the characteristic grain size of image elements, and the size of a frame of view. The analysis entails consideration of several interrelated concepts, including the notion of an image feature, frame of view, spatial coherence, scale-dependent representation of shape, feature uniformity in a region, and odd-man-out phenomena. We describe experiments with two algorithmic approaches, one based in spatial filtering, the other in fine-to-coarse spatial aggregation of discrete events.

Paper (25.5M compressed to 2.7MK)

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