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An IR and visible image sequence automatic registration method based on optical flow

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IR–visible camera registration is required for multi-sensor fusion and cooperative processing. Image sequences can provide motion information, which is useful for sequence registration. The existing methods mainly focus on registration using moving objects which are observed by both cameras. However, accurate motion feature extraction for a whole moving object is difficult, because of the complex environment and different imaging mechanism of two sensors. To overcome this problem, we use motion features associated with single pixels in the two image sequences to carry out automatic registration. A normalized optical flow time sequence for each image pixel is constructed. The matching of pixels between the IR image and the visible light image is carried out using a fast similarity measurement and a three stage correspondence selection method. Finally cascaded random sample consensus is adopted to remove outlying matches, and least-square method and Levenberg–Marquardt method are used to estimate the transformation from the IR image to the visible image. The effectiveness of our method is demonstrated using several real datasets and simulated datasets.

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This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 60872145, 60903126), China Postdoctoral Special Science Foundation (No. 201003685), and China  Post doctoral Science Foundation (No. 20090451397).

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Correspondence to Xiuwei Zhang.

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Zhang, Y., Zhang, X., Maybank, S.J. et al. An IR and visible image sequence automatic registration method based on optical flow. Machine Vision and Applications 24, 947–958 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00138-012-0465-x

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  • Image sequences registration
  • Visible image sequence
  • IR image sequence
  • Optical flow