The condensation algorithm (Conditional Density Propagation) is a computer vision algorithm. The principal application is to detect and track the contour of objects moving in a cluttered environment. Object tracking is one of the more basic and difficult aspects of computer vision and is generally a prerequisite to object recognition. Being able to identify which pixels in an image make up the contour of an object is a non-trivial problem. Condensation is a probabilistic algorithm that attempts to solve this problem.
The algorithm itself is described in detail by Isard and Blake in a publication in the International Journal of Computer Vision in 1998. One of the most interesting facets of the algorithm is that it does not compute on every pixel of the image. Rather, pixels to process are chosen at random, and only a subset of the pixels end up being processed. Multiple hypotheses about what is moving are supported naturally by the probabilistic nature of the approach. The evaluation functions come largely from previous work in the area and include many standard statistical approaches. The original part of this work is the application of particle filter estimation techniques.
- Particle filter - Condensation is the application of Sampling Importance Resampling (SIR) estimation to contour tracking
- Condensation homepage
- Condensation - conditional density propagation for visual tracking, by Michael Isard and Andrew Blake (International Journal of Computer Vision 29(1):5-28, August 1998)
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