Perceptual Science Series

Margarita Osadchy (NEC Labs America, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey)
Using Specularities for Recognition

September 22, 2003 at 2:00 p.m.

Psychology Room 101, Busch Campus

Margarita Osadchy

NEC Labs America, Inc.

Using Specularities for Recognition

Recognition systems have generally treated specular
highlights as noise. We show how to use these highlights as a
positive source of information that improves recognition of shiny
objects. This also enables us to recognize very challenging shiny
transparent objects, such as wine glasses. Specifically, we show
how to find highlights that are consistent with an hypothesized
pose of an object of known {3D} shape. We do this using only a
qualitative description of highlight formation that is consistent
with most models of specular reflection, so no specific knowledge
of an object's reflectance properties is needed. We first present
a method that finds highlights produced by a dominant compact
light source, whose position is roughly known. We then show how to
estimate the lighting automatically for objects whose reflection
is part specular and part Lambertian. We demonstrate this method
for two classes of objects. First, we show that specular
information alone can suffice to identify objects with no
Lambertian reflectance, such as transparent wine glasses. Second,
we use our complete system to recognize shiny objects, such as

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