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May  2007, 1(2): 319-348. doi: 10.3934/ipi.2007.1.319

Automatic low baseline stereo in urban areas

1. 

Dept. de Tecnologia,Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08003 Barcelona, Spain, Spain, Spain

2. 

Fac. de Ingeniería, Universidad de la República, 11300 Montevideo, Uruguay

3. 

CMLA,Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, 94235 Cachan cedex, France

4. 

Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), 31055 Toulouse, France

Received  December 2006 Published  April 2007

In this work we propose a new automatic methodology for computing accurate digital elevation models (DEMs) in urban environments from low baseline stereo pairs that shall be available in the future from a new kind of earth observation satellite. This setting makes both views of the scene very similar, thus avoiding occlusions and illumination changes, which are the main disadvantages of the commonly accepted wide-baseline configuration. There still remain two crucial technological challenges: (i) precisely estimating DEMs with strong discontinuities and (ii) providing a statistically proven result, automatically. The first one is solved here by a piecewise affine representation that is well adapted to man-made landscapes, whereas the application of computational Gestalt theory introduces reliability and automation. In fact this theory allows us to reduce the number of parameters to be adjusted, and to control the number of false detections. This leads to the selection of a suitable segmentation into affine regions (whenever possible) by a novel and completely automatic perceptual grouping method. It also allows us to discriminate e.g. vegetation-dominated regions, where such an affine model does not apply and a more classical correlation technique should be preferred. In addition we propose here an extension of the classical "quantized" Gestalt theory to continuous measurements, thus combining its reliability with the precision of variational robust estimation and fine interpolation methods that are necessary in the low baseline case. Such an extension is very general and will be useful for many other applications as well.
Citation: L. Igual, J. Preciozzi, L. Garrido, A. Almansa, V. Caselles, B. Rougé. Automatic low baseline stereo in urban areas. Inverse Problems & Imaging, 2007, 1 (2) : 319-348. doi: 10.3934/ipi.2007.1.319
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