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  • 1. Biased Normalized Cuts Subhransu Maji1 , Nisheeth K. Vishnoi2, and Jitendra Malik1 University of California, Berkeley1 Microsoft Research India, Bangalore2,, Abstract (a) Image (b) Bottom-up (c) Top-down (d) Biased Ncut We present a modication of Normalized Cuts to in-corporate priors which can be used for constrained im-age segmentation. Compared to previous generalizationsof Normalized Cuts which incorporate constraints, ourtechnique has two advantages. First, we seek solutions Figure 1. Segmentation using bottom-up & top-down information.which are sufciently correlated with priors which allowsus to use noisy top-down information, for example from anobject detector. Second, given the spectral solution of the with results as shown in Figure 1(d). The formalism is thatunconstrained problem, the solution of the constrained one of graph partitioning approached using tools and techniquescan be computed in small additional time, which allows from spectral graph theory. As in Normalized Cuts [18], weus to run the algorithm in an interactive mode. We com- begin by computing eigenvectors of the Normalized Lapla-pare our algorithm to other graph cut based algorithms and cian of a graph where the edge weights wij correspond tohighlight the advantages. the afnity between two pixels based on low-level simi- larity cues. This is illustrated in Figure 2 for the cat image, where the top row shows the second to fth eigenvectors,1. Introduction ui . Note that none of them is a particularly good indicator Consider Figure 1. Suppose that we want to segment the vector from which the cat can be extracted by from its background. We can approach this We are interested in cuts which not only minimize the 1. Bottom-up, we might detect contours corresponding to normalized cut value but, at the same time, one of the sets signicant changes in brightness, color or texture. The in the partition (S, S) is required to have a sufcient over- output of one such detector is shown in Figure 1(b). lap with a bias or a prior guess. In Figure 1, this was Note that there will be internal contours, e.g. corre- the output of a top-down detector. In Figure 2, bottom sponding to the colored spots, that are of higher con- row, the user has specied the bias by indicating various trast than the external contour separating the cat from point sets T in the different panels. We will dene a seed- its background. This makes it difcult for any bottom- vector sT associated to T . Let DG be the diagonal matrix up segmentation process to separate the cat from its of the graph, and ui , i be the eigenvectors and eigenval- background in the absence of high-level knowledge of ues of the Normalized Laplacian. Theorem 3.1 (originally what cats look like. due to [15]) shows that we can get cuts that meet the twin goals of having a small normalized cut, and being suf- 2. Top-down, we might look for strong activation of, say, ciently correlated with sT by a remarkably simple proce- a sliding window cat detector. The output of one such dure. Construct the biased normalized cut vector, x , where part-based detector is shown in Figure 1(c). But note n x = c i=2 i1 ui uT DG sT . Intuitively the eigenvec- i that this too is inadequate for our purpose. The outputs tors are linearly combined such that the ones that are well of these detectors are typically not sharply localized; correlated with the seed vector are up weighted, while those indeed that is almost a consequence of the desire to that are inversely correlated have their sign ipped. In Fig- make them invariant to small deformations. ure 2 bottom row, these vectors are shown as images, and In this paper we present an approach, Biased Normal- the bias point sets are overlaid. This vector x can be thresh-ized Cuts, where we try to get the best of both worlds, olded to nd the desired biased normalized cut. One can 2057
  • 2. run the algorithm in an interactive mode by computing the small number of single-commodity maximum-ows to ndeigenvectors once and generating the biased normalized cut low-conductance cuts not only inside the input subset T ,for any bias. but among all cuts which are well-correlated with (T, T ). Among spectral methods, local graph partitioning was in-2. Previous Work troduced by Spielman and Teng [20], who were interested in nding a low-conductance cut in a graph in time nearly- Spectral graph theory originated in the 1970s with work linear in the volume of the output cut. They used randomsuch as Donath and Hoffman [10] and Fiedler [13]. By the walk based methods to do this; and subsequently this result1990s, there was a well developed literature in mathematics was improved by Andersen, Chung and Lang [1] by doingand theoretical computer science, and Chung [9] provides certain Personalized PageRank based random walks.a monograph level treatment. In computer vision and ma-chine learning, the work of Shi and Malik on normalized 3. Biased Graph Partitioningcuts [18, 19] was very inuential, and since then a signi-cant body of work has emerged in these elds that we can- Image as a Weighted Graph and Normalized Cuts. Thenot possibly do justice here. The best current approaches image is represented as a weighted undirected graph G =to nding contours and regions bottom up are still based on (V, E) where the nodes of the graph are the points in thevariations of this theme [16]. feature space, and an edge is formed between every pair of Given our interest in this work of biasing the solution nodes. The weight function on the edges w : E R0to satisfy additional constraints, two papers need particular is a function of the similarity between the end points of themention. The problem in the constrained setting for image edge. The volume of a set of vertices S is the total weight defsegmentation has been studied by Yu and Shi [21] where of the edges incident to it: vol(S) = iS,jV w(i, j).they nd the solution to the normalized cuts problem sub- def vol(G) = i,jV w(i, j) be the total weight of the edges inject to a set of linear constraints of the form U T x = 0. This the graph. Normalized cut measure, dened next, is a stan-problem can be reduced to an eigenvalue problem which dard way to measure the degree of dissimilarity betweencan be solved using spectral techniques as well. Ericks- two pieces of an image. For S V, let S denote V S.son et al. [11] generalize the set of constraints to U T x = b.We will see in Section 5 that enforcing constraints in this def Let cut(S, S) = iS,jS w(i, j) be the weight of edges manner is not robust when the constraints are noisy. The crossing the cut (S, S). Then, the normalized cut value cor-computational complexity of these approaches is also sig- responding to (S, S) is dened asnicantly higher than that of solving the basic normalized def