Research papers and code for "Tianli Liao":
Results of image stitching can be perceptually divided into single-perspective and multiple-perspective. Compared to the multiple-perspective result, the single-perspective result excels in perspective consistency but suffers from projective distortion. In this paper, we propose two single-perspective warps for natural image stitching. The first one is a parametric warp, which is a combination of the as-projective-as-possible warp and the quasi-homography warp via dual-feature. The second one is a mesh-based warp, which is determined by optimizing a total energy function that simultaneously emphasizes different characteristics of the single-perspective warp, including alignment, naturalness, distortion and saliency. A comprehensive evaluation demonstrates that the proposed warp outperforms some state-of-the-art warps, including homography, APAP, AutoStitch, SPHP and GSP.

* 10 pages, 10 figures
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Geometric matching is a key step in computer vision tasks. Previous learning-based methods for geometric matching concentrate more on improving alignment quality, while we argue the importance of naturalness issue simultaneously. To deal with this, firstly, Pearson correlation is applied to handle large intra-class variations of features in feature matching stage. Then, we parametrize homography transformation with 9 parameters in full connected layer of our network, to better characterize large viewpoint variations compared with affine transformation. Furthermore, a novel loss function with Gaussian weights guarantees the model accuracy and efficiency in training procedure. Finally, we provide two choices for different purposes in geometric matching. When compositing homography with affine transformation, the alignment accuracy improves and all lines are preserved, which results in a more natural transformed image. When compositing homography with non-rigid thin-plate-spline transformation, the alignment accuracy further improves. Experimental results on Proposal Flow dataset show that our method outperforms state-of-the-art methods, both in terms of alignment accuracy and naturalness.

* 13 pages,4 figures
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Seam-cutting and seam-driven techniques have been proven effective for handling imperfect image series in image stitching. Generally, seam-driven is to utilize seam-cutting to find a best seam from one or finite alignment hypotheses based on a predefined seam quality metric. However, the quality metrics in most methods are defined to measure the average performance of the pixels on the seam without considering the relevance and variance among them. This may cause that the seam with the minimal measure is not optimal (perception-inconsistent) in human perception. In this paper, we propose a novel coarse-to-fine seam estimation method which applies the evaluation in a different way. For pixels on the seam, we develop a patch-point evaluation algorithm concentrating more on the correlation and variation of them. The evaluations are then used to recalculate the difference map of the overlapping region and reestimate a stitching seam. This evaluation-reestimation procedure iterates until the current seam changes negligibly comparing with the previous seams. Experiments show that our proposed method can finally find a nearly perception-consistent seam after several iterations, which outperforms the conventional seam-cutting and other seam-driven methods.

* 5 pages, 4 figures
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The seam-driven approach has been proven fairly effective for parallax-tolerant image stitching, whose strategy is to search for an invisible seam from finite representative hypotheses of local alignment. In this paper, we propose a graph-based hypothesis generation and a seam-guided local alignment for improving the effectiveness and the efficiency of the seam-driven approach. The experiment demonstrates the significant reduction of number of hypotheses and the improved quality of naturalness of final stitching results, comparing to the state-of-the-art method SEAGULL.

* 3 pages, 3 figures, 2 tables
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A novel warp for natural image stitching is proposed that utilizes the property of cylindrical warp and a horizontal pixel selection strategy. The proposed ratio-preserving half-cylindrical warp is a combination of homography and cylindrical warps which guarantees alignment by homography and possesses less projective distortion by cylindrical warp. Unlike previous approaches applying cylindrical warp before homography, we use partition lines to divide the image into different parts and apply homography in the overlapping region while a composition of homography and cylindrical warps in the non-overlapping region. The pixel selection strategy then samples the points in horizontal and reconstructs the image via interpolation to further reduce horizontal distortion by maintaining the ratio as similarity. With applying half-cylindrical warp and horizontal pixel selection, the projective distortion in vertical and horizontal is mitigated simultaneously. Experiments show that our warp is efficient and produces a more natural-looking stitched result than previous methods.

* 3 pages, 5 figures
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Image stitching is challenging in consumer-level photography, due to alignment difficulties in unconstrained shooting environment. Recent studies show that seam-cutting approaches can effectively relieve artifacts generated by local misalignment. Normally, seam-cutting is described in terms of energy minimization, however, few of existing methods consider human perception in their energy functions, which sometimes causes that a seam with minimum energy is not most invisible in the overlapping region. In this paper, we propose a novel perception-based energy function in the seam-cutting framework, which considers the nonlinearity and the nonuniformity of human perception in energy minimization. Our perception-based approach adopts a sigmoid metric to characterize the perception of color discrimination, and a saliency weight to simulate that human eyes incline to pay more attention to salient objects. In addition, our seam-cutting composition can be easily implemented into other stitching pipelines. Experiments show that our method outperforms the seam-cutting method of the normal energy function, and a user study demonstrates that our composed results are more consistent with human perception.

* 5 pages, 6 figures
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