Spatiotemporal background subtraction using minimum spanning tree and optical flow

Mingliang Chen, Qingxiong Yang, Qing Li, Gang Wang, Ming Hsuan Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background modeling and subtraction is a fundamental research topic in computer vision. Pixel-level background model uses a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) or kernel density estimation to represent the distribution of each pixel value. Each pixel will be process independently and thus is very efficient. However, it is not robust to noise due to sudden illumination changes. Region-based background model uses local texture information around a pixel to suppress the noise but is vulnerable to periodic changes of pixel values and is relatively slow. A straightforward combination of the two cannot maintain the advantages of the two. This paper proposes a real-time integration based on robust estimator. Recent efficient minimum spanning tree based aggregation technique is used to enable robust estimators like M-smoother to run in real time and effectively suppress the noisy background estimates obtained from Gaussian mixture models. The refined background estimates are then used to update the Gaussian mixture models at each pixel location. Additionally, optical flow estimation can be used to track the foreground pixels and integrated with a temporal M-smoother to ensure temporally-consistent background subtraction. The experimental results are evaluated on both synthetic and real-world benchmarks, showing that our algorithm is the top performer.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Vision, ECCV 2014 - 13th European Conference, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
EditionPART 7
ISBN (Print)9783319105833
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event13th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2014 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 2014 Sept 62014 Sept 12

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
NumberPART 7
Volume8695 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference13th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by a GRF grant from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (RGC Reference: CityU 122212), the NSF CAREER Grant #1149783 and NSF IIS Grant #1152576.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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