Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Research Program

Matching and 3D tracking

One of the most basic problems currently limiting AR applications is the registration problem. The objects in the real and virtual worlds must be properly aligned with respect to each other, or the illusion that the two worlds coexist will be compromised.

As a large number of potential AR applications are interactive, real time pose computation is required. Although the registration problem has received a lot of attention in the computer vision community, the problem of real-time registration is still far from being a solved problem, especially for unstructured environments. Ideally, an AR system should work in all environments, without the need to prepare the scene ahead of time, independently of the variations in experimental conditions (lighting, weather condition,...)

For several years, the MAGRIT project has been aiming at developing on-line and marker-less methods for camera pose computation. The main difficulty with on-line tracking is to ensure robustness of the process over time. For off-line processes, robustness is achieved by using spatial and temporal coherence of the considered sequence through move-matching techniques. To get robust open-loop systems, we have investigated various methods, ranging from statistical methods to the use of hybrid camera/sensor systems. Many of these methods are dedicated to piecewise-planar scenes and combine the advantage of move-matching methods and model-based methods. In order to reduce statistical fluctuations in viewpoint computation, which lead to unpleasant jittering or sliding effects, we have also developed model selection techniques which allow us to noticeably improve the visual impression and to reduce drift over time. Another line of research which has been considered in the team to improve the reliability and the robustness of pose algorithms is to combine the camera with another form of sensor in order to compensate for the shortcomings of each technology.

The success of pose computation over time largely depends on the quality of the matching at the initialization stage. Indeed, the current image may be very different from the appearances described in the model both on the geometrical and the photometric sides. Research is thus conducted in the team on the use of probabilistic methods to establish robust correspondences of features. The use of a contrario methods has been investigated to achieve this aim [7]. We especially addressed the complex case of matching in scenes with repeated patterns which are common in urban scenes. We are also investigating the problem of matching images taken from very different viewpoints which is central for the re-localization issue in AR. Within the context of a scene model acquired with structure-from-motion techniques, we are currently investigating the use of viewpoint simulation in order to allow successful pose computation even if the considered image is far from the positions used to build the model [15].

Recently, the issue of tracking deformable objects has gained importance in the team. This topic is mainly addressed in the context of medical applications through the design of bio-mechanical models guided by visual features [2]. We have successfully investigated the use of such models in laparoscopy, with a vascularized model of the liver and with a hyper-elastic model for tongue tracking in ultrasound images. However, these results have been obtained so far in relatively controlled environments, with non-pathological cases. When clinical routine applications are to be considered, many parameters and considerations need to be taken into account. Among the problems that need to be addressed are more realistic model representations, the specification of the range of physical parameters and the need to enforce the robustness of the tracking with respect to outliers, which are common in the interventional context.