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Publication Details

Recovering Intrinsic Scene Characteristics From Images

by Barrow, Harry G. and Tenenbaum, J. Martin

Technical Note 157
Institution: AI Center, SRI International
Address: 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
Apr 1978.

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Abstract

We suggest that an appropriate role of early visual processing is to describe a scene in terms of intrinsic (vertical) characteristics–such as range, orientation, reflectance, and incident illumination–of the surface element visible at each point in the image. Support for this idea comes from three sources: the obvious utility of intrinsic characteristics for higher-level scene analysis; the apparent ability of humans to determine these characteristics, regardless of viewing conditions or familiarity with the scene; and a theoretical argument that such a description is obtainable, by a noncognitive and nonpurposive process, at least, for simple scene domains. The central problem in recovering intrinsic value encodes all the characteristics of the corresponding scene point. Recovery depends on exploiting constraints, derived from assumptions about the nature of the scene and the physics of the imaging process.

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