Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Computer Science and Engineering


Many natural and man-made structures have a boundary that shows a certain level of bilateral symmetry, a property that plays an important role in both human and computer vision. In this paper, we present a new grouping method for detecting closed boundaries with symmetry. We first construct a new type of grouping token in the form of symmetric trapezoids by pairing line segments detected from the image. A closed boundary can then be achieved by connecting some trapezoids with a sequence of gap-filling quadrilaterals. For such a closed boundary, we define a unified grouping cost function in a ratio form: the numerator reflects the boundary information of proximity and symmetry, and the denominator reflects the region information of the enclosed area. The introduction of the region-area information in the denominator is able to avoid a bias toward shorter boundaries. We then develop a new graph model to represent the grouping tokens. In this new graph model, the grouping cost function can be encoded by carefully designed edge weights, and the desired optimal boundary corresponds to a special cycle with a minimum ratio-form cost. We finally show that such a cycle can be found in polynomial time using a previous graph algorithm. We implement this symmetry-grouping method and test it on a set of synthetic data and real images. The performance is compared to two previous grouping methods that do not consider symmetry in their grouping cost functions.


© 2008 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)