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Benchmark for the robustness of image features in rainy conditions

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Computer vision systems are increasingly present on roadways, both on the roadside and on board vehicles. Image features are an essential building block for computer vision algorithms in a road environment. Eight of the most representative image features in a road environment are selected on the basis of a literature review, and their robustness in rainy conditions is evaluated. In order to do this, a new evaluation method is proposed, which is then applied to a new weather-image database. This database contains rain typical of latitudes with a temperate climate (\(0{-}30\, \mathrm{mm}\,\mathrm{h}^{-1} \)), various camera settings and images with natural rain and images with digitally simulated rain. Image features based on pixel intensity and those that use vertical edges are sensitive to rainy conditions. Conversely, the Harris feature and features that combine different edge orientations remain robust for rainfall rates of \(0{-}30\, \mathrm{mm}\,\mathrm{h}^{-1} \). The robustness of image features in rainy conditions decreases as the rainfall rate increases. Finally, the image features most sensitive to rain have potential for use in a camera-based rain classification application.

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    Sensor inserted into the road surface that detects vehicles via an electromagnetic field.


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The authors would like to thank LabEx ImobS3 and ViaMeca innovation cluster thanks to which relations between the Clermont-Ferrand laboratories are even stronger. They would also like to thank the whole team in charge of the Cerema R&D Fog and Rain platform and the weather-image station.

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Correspondence to Pierre Duthon.

Additional information

This work has been sponsored by the French government research program "Investissements d’Avenir" through the IMobS3 Laboratory of Excellence (ANR-10-LABX-16-01) and the RobotEx Equipment of Excellence (ANR-10-EQPX-44), by the European union through the Regional Competitiveness and Employment program 2014–2020 (ERDF - AURA region) and by the AURA region.

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Duthon, P., Bernardin, F., Chausse, F. et al. Benchmark for the robustness of image features in rainy conditions. Machine Vision and Applications 29, 915–927 (2018).

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  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Image processing
  • Image analysis
  • Image feature extraction
  • Machine vision
  • Cameras
  • Advanced driver assistance system
  • Rainfall rate
  • Rainfall