Object Tracking by Using Optical Flows and Edges

  • Yoshiaki Shirai
  • Yasushi Mae
  • Shin’ya Yamamoto
Conference paper


This paper describes real time object tracking in a complex background by extracting optical flows, and integration of optical flows and contrast. In real time tracking, optical flows are calculated based on the generalized gradient model. The system is a linear array processor capable of processing directly TV images in real time. Our system detects a moving object, and tracks it from the optical flow data. The system controls a camera head to follow the object. Although the background moves, the movement of the object is discriminated from the background.

If two objects should be tracked simultaneously, each object is tracked simultaneously. When two objects overlap, foreground object is recognized, and each object is tracked without confusion.

If an object stops or overlaps with another object with a similar motion, edged extracted from an intensity image is used together with optical flows. While the object is moving, the contour is extracted using optical flows and the contrast. When the object cannot be tracked only with optical flows, the edge information is used to determine the the object contour.


Optical Flow Null Point Foreground Object Flow Vector Object Region 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Horn B. K. P. and Schunck, B. G.: Determining optical flow, Artif. Intell., Vol. 17, pp. 185–203, (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Dickmanns, E.D., Behringer, R., Brudigam, C., Dickmanns, D., Thomanek, F., and Holt, V. v.: An All-Transputer Visual AutobahnAutopilot/Copilot, Proc. IEEE ICCV’93, pp. 608–615 (1993)Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Brandenbusch, M., Sung, Chen-Ko, and Wirtkopp, T.: A vision system for real-time motion analysis in image sequences, FhG IITB Mitteilungen pp. 31–35 (1992)Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Murray, D.W. and McLauchlan, and P.F. Heid, I.D. and Sharkey, P.M.: Reactions to Peripheral Image Motion using a Head/Eye Platform, Proc. ICCV’93, pp. 403–411 (1993)Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Inoue, H. and Tachikawa, T. and Inaba, M.: Robot Vision System with a Correlation Clip for Real-time Tracking, Optical Flow and Depth Map Generation, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. RandA, Vol. 2, pp. 1621–1626 (1992)Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Srinivasan, M.V.: Generalized gradient schemes for the measurement of two- dimensional image motion, Biol. Cybern., Vol. 63, pp. 421–431 (1990)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Sobey, P. and Srinivasan, M.V.: Measurement of optical flow using a generalized gradient scheme, Journal of the Optical Society of America, pp. 1488–1498 (1991).Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Adiv, G.: Determining 3-D Motion and Structure from Optical Flow Generated by Several Moving Objects, IEEE Trans. Pattern Anal. and Mach. Intell., Vol.PAMI—7, pp. 384–401 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Chen, H. -J. and Shirai, Y.: Detecting Multiple Image Motions by Exploiting Temporal Coherence of Apparent Motion, Proc.IEEE Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 899–902 (1994)Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Etoh, M. and Shirai, Y.: Segmentation and 2D motion estimate by region fragments, Proc. 4th Int. Conf. Comput. Vision, pp. 192–199 (1993)Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Thompson, W.B.: Combining Motion and Contrast for Segmentation, IEEE Trans. Pattern Anal. Mach. Intell., Vol.PAMI—2, No. 6 pp. 543–549 (1980)Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Mae, Y. Yamamoto, S. Shirai, Y. and Miura, J.: Optical Flow Based Object Tracking by Active Camera, Proc. 2nd Japan- France Congress on Mechatronics, pp. 545–548 (1994).Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Yamamoto, S., Mae, Y., Shirai Y. and Miura, J.: Realtime Multiple Object Tracking Based on Optical Flows, Proc. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 2328–2333 (1995).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshiaki Shirai
    • 1
  • Yasushi Mae
    • 1
  • Shin’ya Yamamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer-Controlled Machinery, Faculty of EngineeringOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan

Personalised recommendations