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Trends Cogn Sci. 2007 Feb;11(2):58-64. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Object recognition and segmentation by a fragment-based hierarchy.

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Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


How do we learn to recognize visual categories, such as dogs and cats? Somehow, the brain uses limited variable examples to extract the essential characteristics of new visual categories. Here, I describe an approach to category learning and recognition that is based on recent computational advances. In this approach, objects are represented by a hierarchy of fragments that are extracted during learning from observed examples. The fragments are class-specific features and are selected to deliver a high amount of information for categorization. The same fragments hierarchy is then used for general categorization, individual object recognition and object-parts identification. Recognition is also combined with object segmentation, using stored fragments, to provide a top-down process that delineates object boundaries in complex cluttered scenes. The approach is computationally effective and provides a possible framework for categorization, recognition and segmentation in human vision.

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