Improved tracking by decoupling camera and target motion
Tannenbaum, Allen R.
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Video tracking is widely used for surveillance, security, and defense purposes. In cases where the camera is not fixed due to pans and tilts, or due to being fixed on a moving platform, tracking can become more difficult. Camera motion must be taken into account, and objects that come and go from the field of view should be continuously and uniquely tracked. We propose a tracking system that can meet these needs by using a frame registration technique to estimate camera motion. This estimate is then used as the input control signal to a Kalman filter which estimates the target's motion model based on measurements from a mean-shift localization scheme. Thus we decouple the camera and object motion and recast the problem in terms of a principled control theory solution. Our experiments show that using a controller built on these principles we are able to track videos with multiple objects in sequences with moving cameras. Furthermore, the techniques are computationally efficient and allow us to accomplish these results in real-time. Of specific importance is that when objects are lost off-frame they can still be uniquely identified and reacquired when they return to the field of view.