Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2812890 Summary

Third-party information liability

Some of the information on this Web page has been provided by external sources. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information supplied by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information. Content provided by external sources is not subject to official languages, privacy and accessibility requirements.

Claims and Abstract availability

Any discrepancies in the text and image of the Claims and Abstract are due to differing posting times. Text of the Claims and Abstract are posted:

  • At the time the application is open to public inspection;
  • At the time of issue of the patent (grant).
(12) Patent: (11) CA 2812890
(54) English Title: MESH BASED FRAME PROCESSING AND APPLICATIONS
(54) French Title: TRAITEMENT DE TRAMES A BASE DE RESEAU MAILLE ET APPLICATIONS
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • H04N 19/513 (2014.01)
  • H04N 19/00 (2014.01)
  • H04N 19/94 (2014.01)
  • G06T 7/246 (2017.01)
  • H04N 5/225 (2006.01)
  • H04N 5/232 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • BADAWY, WAEL (Canada)
(73) Owners :
  • INTELLIVIEW TECHNOLOGIES INC. (Canada)
(71) Applicants :
  • INTELLIVIEW TECHNOLOGIES INC. (Canada)
(74) Agent: LAMBERT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2015-10-27
(22) Filed Date: 2004-05-04
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2005-11-04
Examination requested: 2013-04-16
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

English Abstract

A method of processing sequential frames of data comprises repeating the following steps for successive frames of data: acquiring at least a reference frame containing data points and a current frame of data points; identifying a set of anchor points in the reference frame; assigning to each anchor point in the reference frame a respective motion vector that estimates the location of the anchor point in the current frame; defining polygons formed of anchor points in the reference frame, each polygon containing data points in the reference frame, each polygon and each data point contained within the polygon having a predicted location in the current frame based on the motion vectors assigned to anchor points in the polygon; for one or more polygons in the reference frame, adjusting the number of anchor points in the reference frame based on accuracy of the predicted locations of data points in the current frame; and if the number of anchor points is increased by addition of new anchor points, then assigning motion vectors to the new anchor points that estimate the location of the anchor points in the current frame.


French Abstract

Un procédé de traitement de trames séquentielles de données comprend la répétition des étapes suivantes pour des trames successives de données : lacquisition dau moins une trame de référence contenant des points de données et une trame en cours de points de données; la détermination dun jeu de points dancrage dans la trame de référence; laffectation à chaque point dancrage dans la trame de référence dun vecteur de mouvement respectif qui estime lemplacement du point dancrage dans la trame en cours; la définition de polygones formés de points dancrage dans la trame de référence, chaque polygone contenant des points de données dans la trame de référence, chaque polygone et chaque point de données contenu dans le polygone ayant un emplacement prévu dans la trame en cours basé sur les vecteurs de mouvement affectés aux points dancrage dans le polygone; pour un ou plusieurs des polygones dans la trame de référence, lajustement du nombre de points dancrage dans la trame de référence en fonction de la précision des emplacements prévus des points de données dans la trame en cours; et si le nombre de points dancrage est augmenté par lajout de nouveaux points dancrage, alors laffectation de vecteurs de mouvement aux nouveaux points dancrage qui estiment lemplacement des points dancrage dans la trame en cours.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

What is claimed is:
1. A method of processing sequential frames of data, the method comprising
repeating the
following steps for successive frames of data:
acquiring at least a reference frame containing data points and a current
frame of data
points;
identifying a set of anchor points in the reference frame, where the
distribution of anchor
points is based on texture of the reference frame;
assigning to each anchor point in the reference frame a respective motion
vector that
estimates the location of the anchor point in the current frame;
defining polygons in the reference frame, each polygon being defined by anchor
points;
assigning tracking points to at least one object represented in the reference
frame, each
object being formed by one or more polygons and each tracking point
corresponding to a feature
of the object; and
analyzing the object using the tracking points.
2. The method of claim 1 in which analyzing the object comprises
identifying the object.
3. The method of claim 2 in which the object is identified using the size
of the object as
defined by the tracking points.
4. The method of claim 1 in which analyzing the object comprises monitoring
movement of
the object.
5. The method of claim 4 further comprising computing the velocity of the
object.
6. The method of claim 1 in which the tracking points are allocated around
the boundary of
the object.
29



7.
Apparatus for carrying out the method of any one of claims 1-6, the apparatus
comprising
a video camera for acquiring successive frames of data and a data processor
for processing the
successive frames of data.

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
MESH BASED FRAME PROCESSING AND APPLICATIONS
001 This application is a divisional of CA patent application no. 2466247,
filed May 4,
2004.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
002 The recent advance in the field of communication-based applications such
as
videophone and video conferencing systems mainly concentrate on minimizing the
size
and the cost of the coding equipment. The low cost of the final product is the
most
essential part of the current age of technology. Most current real-time
systems include
video applications that need to process huge amounts of data and large
communication
bandwidth. Real-time video applications include strategies to compress the
data into a
feasible size.
003 Among different data compression techniques, object-based video
representation,
as addressed by MPEG-4, allows for content-based authoring, coding,
distribution, search
and manipulation of video data. In MPEG-4, the Video Object (VO) refers to
spatio-
temporal data pertinent to a semantically meaningful part of the video. A 2-D
snapshot of a
Video Object is referred to as a Video Object Plan (VOP). The 2-D triangular
mesh is
designed on the first appearance of VOP as extension for the 3D modeling. The
vertices of
the triangular patches are referred to as the nodes. The nodes of the initial
mesh are then
tracked from VOP to VOP. Therefore, the motion vectors of the node points in
the mesh
represent the 2D motion of each VO. The motion compensation is achieved by
triangle
wrapping from VOP to VOP using Affine transform.
004 Recently, hierarchical mesh representation attracted attention because
it provides
rendering at various levels of detail. It also allows scalable/progressive
transmission of the
mesh geometry and motion vectors. The hierarchical mesh coding is used for
transmission
scalability where we can code the mesh at different resolutions to satisfy the
bandwidth
constraints and/or the QoS requirements.
005 Hierarchical 2D-mesh based modeling of video sources has been previously
addressed for the case of uniform topology only. The mesh is defined for
coarse-to-fine
hierarchy, which was trivially achieved by subdividing each
triangle/quadrangle into three
or four subtriangles or quadrangles, as in C. L. Huang and C.-Y. Hsu, "A new
motion
1

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
compensation method for image sequence coding using hierarchical grid
interpolation,:"
IEEE Trans. Circuits. Syst Video Technol., vol 4, pp. 42-51, Feb 1994.
006 A basic requirement of active tracking system is the ability to fixate
or track video
objects using an active camera. Real-time object tracking systems have been
developed
recently. T. Darrell's system, in "Integrated person tracking using stereo,
color and pattern
detection" Darrell, T., Gordon, G., Harville, M., and Woodfill, J.
International Journal of
Computer Vision 37(2), pp 175-185, June 2000, combines stereo, color, and face
detection
modules into a single robust system. Pfinder (person finder) uses a multi-
class statistical
model of color and shape to obtain a 2-D representation of head and hands in a
wide range
of viewing conditions. KidRooms is a tracking system based on closed-world
regions,
where regions of space and time in which the specific context of what is in
the regions is
assumed to be known. These regions are tracked in real-time domains where
object
motions are not smooth or rigid, and where multiple objects are interacting.
Multivariate
Gaussian models are applied to find the most likely match of human subjects
between
consecutive frames taken by cameras mounted in various locations. Lipton's
system, in
"Moving target classification and tracking from real-time video". Lipton,
A.J., Fujiyoshi,
H., and Patil, R.S. Proceedings of the 4th IEEE Workshop on Applications of
Computer
Vision (WACV'98), Princeton, NJ, USA, Oct 1998, pp 8-14, extracts moving
targets from
a real-time video stream, classifies them into pre-defined categories and
tracks them.
Because it uses correlation matching, it is primarily targeted at the tracking
of rigid objects.
Birchfield, in "Elliptical head tracking using intensity gradients and color
histograms"
Birchfield, S. IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition,
Santa
Barbara, California, June 1998, pp 232-237, proposed an algorithm for tracking
a person's
head by modeling the head as an ellipse whose position and size are
continually updated by
a local search combining the output of a module concentrating on the intensity
gradient
around the ellipse's perimeter, and another module focusing on the color
histogram of the
ellipse's interior. Reid and Murray, in "Active Tracking of Foveated Feature
Clusters
Using Affine Structure" Reid, I.D. and Murray. D.W., International Journal of
Computer
Vision 18(1), pp 41-60, April 1996, introduced monocular fixation using affine
transfer as
a way of a cluster of such features, while at the same time respecting the
transient nature of
the individual features.
2

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
007 Mesh based frame processing is disclosed and discussed in papers by
Badawy, one
of the inventors of this invention, in "A low power VLSI architecture for mesh-
based video
motion tracking" Badawy, W.; Bayoumi, M.A. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and
Systems
II: Analog and Digital Signal Processing, Volume 49, Issue 7, pp 488- 504,
July 2002; and
also in "On Minimizing Hierarchical Mesh Coding Overhead: (HASM) Hierarchical
Adaptive Structured Mesh Approach", Badawy, W., and Bayoumi, M., Proc. IEEE
Int.
Conf. Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, Istanbul, Turkey, June 2000, p.
1923-
1926; and "Algorithm Based Low Power VLSI Architecture for 2-D mesh Video-
Object
Motion Tracking", IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video
Technology, vol.
12, no. 4, April 2002. The present invention is directed towards an
improvement over the
technology disclosed in Badawy papers.
008 Coding of frame data requires a motion detection kernel. Perhaps, the
most popular
motion estimation kernel used for inter-frame video compression is the block
matching
model. This model is often more preferred over others in video codec
implementations,
because it does not involve complicated arithmetic operations as compared to
other kernels
such as the optical flow model. However, the block matching model has major
limitations
in the accuracy of estimated motion, since it only allows inter-frame dynamics
to be
described as a series of block translations. As a result, any inter-frame
dynamics related to
the reshaping of video objects will be inaccurately represented.
009 The mesh-based motion analysis as disclosed by Badawy addresses the
shortcomings of block matching. In this model, an affine transform procedure
is used to
describe inter-frame dynamics, so that the reshaping of objects between video
frames can
be accounted for and the accuracy of estimated motion can be improved. Since
this model
also does not require the use of complicated arithmetic procedures, it has
attracted many
developers to use it as a replacement for the block matching model in inter-
frame codec
implementations. Indeed, MPEG-4 has included the mesh-based motion analysis
model as
part of its standard.
010 The efficacy of the mesh-based motion analysis model, even with the
improvements disclosed in this patent document, is often limited by the domain
disparity
between the affine transform function and the pel domain. In particular, since
the affine
transform is a continuous mapping function while the pel domain is discrete in
nature, a
discretization error will result when the affine transform is applied to the
pel domain. As
3

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
pel values are not uniformly distributed in a video frame, a minor
discretization error may
lead to totally incorrect pel value mappings. Hence, the quality of frames
reconstructed by
the mesh-based motion analysis model is often affected. The poor frame
reconstruction
quality problem becomes even more prominent at the latter frames of a group-of-
pictures
(GOP), since these latter frames are reconstructed with earlier reconstructed
frames in the
same GOP and thus all prior losses in the frame reconstruction quality are
carried over.
011 To resolve the frame reconstruction quality problem in the mesh-based
motion
analysis model, residual coding techniques can be employed. These techniques
provide
Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) encoding of the prediction difference between
the
original frame and the reconstructed frame, and thus better frame
reconstruction quality
can be achieved. However, the use of these techniques will reduce the
compression
efficiency of the video sequence, since residual coding will bring about a
significant
increase in the compressed data stream size. To this end, residual coding via
the matching
pursuit technique may be used instead. This approach offers high quality
residual coding
with very short amendments to the compressed data stream. Nevertheless, it is
not a
feasible coding solution as yet because of its high computational power
requirements.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
012 According to an aspect of the invention, there is proposed a novel mesh
based
frame processing technology.
013 There is provided, according to an aspect of the invention, a method of
processing
sequential frames of data. The method in this aspect comprises repeating the
following
steps for successive frames of data: acquiring at least a reference frame
containing data
points and a current frame of data points; identifying a set of anchor points
in the reference
frame, where the distribution of anchor points is based on texture of the
reference frame;
assigning to each anchor point in the reference frame a respective motion
vector that
estimates the location of the anchor point in the current frame; defining
polygons formed
of anchor points in the reference frame; assigning tracking points to at least
one object in
the reference frame, each object being formed by one or more polygons; and
analyzing the
object using the tracking points.
014 According to an aspect of the invention, the method is carried out as
part of a
method of monitoring the movement, or object identification, which may be
based on the
4

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
size of the object as defined by the tracking points. The velocity of the
object may be
calculated. The tracking points may be allocated around the boundary of the
object, such
as at corners if the boundary is rectangular.
015 According to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided an
apparatus for
carrying out the methods of the invention, comprising a video camera for
acquiring
successive frames of data and a data processor for processing the successive
frames of
data.
016 According to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a
method of
processing a frame of data, the method comprising the steps of: dividing the
frame of data
into cells; and processing the cells according to an order that preserves the
proximity of the
processed cells, such that neighboring cells are processed in close sequence
to each other.
The order may be a Z-order process, a Gilbert order, or a Gray order.
017 According to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a
method of
tracking an object across frames of data, the method comprising the steps of:
identifying a
set of n tracking points on the object; and through successive frames,
following different
combinations of the set of n tracking points to track the object while
specific ones of the n
tracking points are not usable for tracking.
018 According to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a
method of
analyzing frames of data from a source of frames, the method comprising the
steps of:
identifying objects in the frames of data, where the objects comprise patches
of data having
similar motion; and identifying an unusual condition as occurring when the
object size
corresponds to the frame size. A persistent unusual condition may be
identified as a
weather event. An oscillating movement of the object may be identified as a
shaking of
the source of the frames.
019 According to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a
method of
encoding a bit stream carrying a frame of data, the method comprising the
steps of
encoding a first portion of the frame of data using a first compression
algorithm to generate
a first code stream; encoding a second portion of the frame of data using
anchor points of a
mesh, the anchor points having associated motion vectors to generate a second
code
stream; and transmitting a bit stream containing the first code stream and the
second code
stream. The first compression algorithm may be a DCT algorithm.
020 Apparatus for carrying out the method steps is also disclosed.

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
021 These and other aspects of the invention are set out in the claims,
which are
incorporated here by reference.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
022 Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described with
reference to the
figures, in which like reference characters denote like elements, by way of
example, and in
which:
Fig. 1 is a flow diagram showing a method of generating a mesh;
Fig. 2 shows examples of polygonal topologies for level0;
Fig. 3 shows examples of level() split into smaller polygons;
Fig. 4 is a flow diagram showing an algorithm for generating a mesh topology;
Fig. 5 shows an example of a patch and its representation;
Fig. 6 is a flow diagram showing an algorithm for coding and generating motion
vectors;
Fig. 7 shows the detection of an object boundary;
Fig. 8 is a flow diagram showing a method of analyzing an object;
Fig. 9 an example of boundary points and a gaze point assigned to an object;
Fig. 10 is an example detecting corners of an object;
Fig. 11 is an example of selecting different affine basis sets from feature
points;
Fig. 12 is an example showing detecting of body outline in the presence of
moving
features of the body;
Fig. 13 is an example of the motion estimation of affine basis points;
Fig. 14 is an example of affine object tracking;
Fig. 15 is an example of changing an affine basis set due to an occlusion;
Fig. 16 is a system for implementing the algorithms;
Fig. 17 is an example of camera position control;
Fig. 18 is a flow diagram showing a process of reconstructing error detection
process;
Fig. 19 shows the condition for mesh node removal;
Fig. 20 shows the data stream structure of the hybrid coding approach;
Figs. 21-24 show various frame processing orders; and
6

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
Fig. 25 is a schematic showing an example architecture for implementing an
embodiment of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
023 The proposed approach constructs a mesh topology on a frame. The
construction of
the mesh relies on the motion of the video object. Thus the motion boundary of
the object
can be obtained directly from the mesh topology.
The Mesh Generation
024 The proposed technique constructs a mesh topology using both coarse-to-
fine and
fine-to-coarse techniques. The former refers to subdivision of larger patches
into smaller
polygons while the latter refers to the merging of smaller patches into larger
polygons.
Consequently, it captures the dynamics of video sequences. The coarse-to-fine
structure is
generated by gradually increasing the number of anchors based on an error
function less
than error threshold. The addition of the anchors uses adaptive successive
splitting. The
method codes the splitting instead of the nodes themselves which saves more
bits.
025 A description of the present invention will now be given with reference
to Fig. 1,
which shows a method 100 of processing sequential frames of data, the steps of
which are
repeated for successive frames of data. In step 102, a reference frame
containing data
points and a current frame of data points are acquired. In step 104, a set of
anchor points
in the reference frame are identified. Depending on the situation, the
distribution of anchor
points may be based on the texture of the reference frame. A motion vector is
assigned to
each anchor point in the reference frame that estimates the location of the
anchor point in
the current frame in step 106, and polygons are formed from the anchor points
in step 108,
where each polygon contains data points in the reference frame. Each polygon
is defined
by at least four anchor points. Also, each polygon and each data point
contained within the
polygon have a predicted location in the current frame based on the motion
vectors
assigned to anchor points in the polygon. In step 110, the accuracy of the
predicted
locations is estimated. This is done by finding an error measure, which is a
function of the
difference between the predicted location of the data points in the current
frame and the
actual location of the data points in the current frame, and comparing the
error measure to
an error measure threshold. In step 112, for one or more polygons in the
reference frame,
7

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
the number of anchor points in the reference frame is adjusted by adding or
removing a
number of anchor points based on the accuracy of the predicted locations of
data points in
the current frame, or on the magnitude of the error measure. The number of
anchor points
in a polygon may be adjusted by using the accuracy of predicted locations of
data points in
neighboring polygons, such that polygons are processed in a sequential order
that tends to
maximize the number of neighboring polygons already processed when any given
polygon
is processed. If the number of anchor points is increased by addition of new
anchor points,
then motion vectors are assigned to the new anchor points that estimate the
location of the
anchor points in the current frame in step 114. If the accuracy of the
predicted locations
for each anchor point is below an accuracy threshold in step 116, then the
process returns
to step 102, and another reference frame and current frame are acquired. The
previous
current frame then becomes the new reference frame in the repetition. If,
however,
processing of successive frames is stopped due to an artifact, then it can be
re-started with
a carry-over of an anchor point distribution from a frame processed before the
processing
was stopped. If the accuracy of the predicted locations is not below the
accuracy
threshold, the number of anchor points is adjusted until the predicted
locations are below
the threshold, or until a stop measure is reached. The stop measure may be a
maximum
number of repetitions of the adjustment of the number of anchor points, or it
may also be a
limit on the density of anchor points.
026 The method described above is useful as part of a method of data
compression, or
motion detection and object analysis in successive frames of video data.
Motion detection,
such as for video surveillance, and object analysis, such as object tracking
or identification,
will be described in more detail below.
027 The mesh topology is generated through a split/merge procedure. This
procedure
begins with an initial mesh (uniform or any other mesh) at a resolution r,
where the white
nodes represent the nodes of the mesh. The method initiates the topology as a
distribution
of anchors and polygonal topology as shown in Fig. 2. In Fig. 2 the structure,
at level , is
represented as polygonal patches with type to and resolution r, where r is the
size of the
patch. Each patch is divided according to a splitting criterion into smaller
polygons. The
split procedure will stop when the maximum level /õ,õ is reached or the
splitting criterion
is satisfied.
8

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
028 Referring now to Fig. 3, at level 1 each polygonal patch is divided
into n smaller
polygons according to a certain splitting criterion. The algorithm 200 for
generating the
topology is shown in Fig. 4. In step 402, the maximum number of splitting
levels /max is
specified, and 'current is reset to 0 in step 404. The motion of vectors is
computed for all
anchor points in step 406. In step 408, we test whether 'current <lnicnt. If
this is false, the
algorithm ends. If true, then we continue to step 410, where we test whether
the error
measure is less than the threshold. If false, the algorithm ends. If not, we
continue to step
412, where new anchor points are located, and corresponding motion vectors are
calculated
in step 414. 'current is incremented in step 416, and we return to step 408.
This splitting
operation adds m new anchors to the current polygon. We repeat this operation
for each
polygon until we reach the maximum level 'max, or until the error measure is
below the
error measure threshold.
029 At this stage, each polygon in the reference frame is defined by a set
of anchor
points. Each anchor point has a motion vector assigned to it. Using the motion
vector
assigned to each anchor point, a predicted location of each anchor point may
be computed
in the current frame. A set of anchor points in the current frame will then
form a polygon
in the current frame. The error measure, which is used to decide whether to
continue
forming anchor points (splitting) by comparison with an error measure
threshold, is a sum
of the absolute difference of data points in the patch in the reference frame
and the
predicted patch. This is a sum of the absolute difference between the pixel
values (data
points) of pixels actually in the predicted polygon in the current frame and
pixel values
(data points) of the pixels in the polygon in the reference frame. The greater
the error in
the motion vector, the greater the absolute difference is likely to be, since
the object
represented by the polygon will not be in the expected position. Since greater
errors in the
motion vector correspond to greater motion, a greater density of anchor points
will be
obtained for areas of greater motion, ie along the boundary of a fast moving
object.
030 In the proposed approach each polygon has n nodes in general and is
generated
using a top-down strategy. Fig. 5 shows the structure construction which
starts at level0
split into polygons with respect to the splitting criterion. Fig. 5 also shows
the mesh at
leve10, levell and leve12.
031 In the present embodiment, as shown in Fig. 5, the mesh is coded using
a sequence
9

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
of graphs, where each graph represents the structure within a polygon. Each
node in the
graph represents whether there is a split or not, and each node can be
associated with
motion vectors. The description of the code follows. At leve10, only the
resolution r and
polygon type p are transmitted associated with the sequence of the motion
vectors. In this
sequence the decoder can predict the frame as soon as the first set of nodes
arrives. For
each polygon, the structure is coded based on structure where each node
indicates whether
a split exists or not. Fig. 6 shows the coding algorithm 600 that decides
whether the motion
vector will be sent or not. Before beginning the algorithm, the motion vectors
for level0 are
transmitted. Then, for each patch, we define the maximum number of levels lmax
in step
602, in step 604, 'current is reset to 0, and in step 606 the motion vectors
for all anchor points
are computed. Then, for each anchor, we repeat step 608 to 612, which queries
whether
the motion vector of an anchor point has been sent. If not, the X and Y
components are
sent, and the anchor point is marked as sent. If it has been sent, the
algorithm moves to the
next anchor point. The rest of the algorithm is similar to that described in
Fig. 4.
Algorithm 600 is repeated for each patch.
032 The splitting criterion defines the distribution of the new anchors
based on the
dynamic components in the neighbor polygons and the dynamic components of the
polygon in the previous images. The splitting criterion is a weighting
function of the
neighbor polygons and the polygon in the previous frames. To maximize the
number of
the neighbor the polygonal patches should be processed in an order other than
the row
major order. Various processing orders are described below in relation to
Figs. 21-24.
Object Formation Methodology
033 An object formation methodology may be used to refine the mesh.
According to a
threshold criterion, patches with significant motion components, or vectors,
are further
divided into n smaller sized patches. The split will select the location of
the new nodes
(anchor points) based on the distribution of the neighbor patches as well as
the content of
the current patches. For example if two out of the three neighbor-patches have
more
motion component, the distribution of the new nodes will be more dense near
the two
patches and fewer close to the third. Other patches that have similar motion
parameters are
marked together to form a level of dynamics. This procedure is carried out
recursively until

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
the splitting criterion is satisfied or no further division is possible, i.e.
loss of resolution
because of the smallest size of a patch. The detailed description of the
split/merge
procedure was described with reference to Fig. 1.
Motion Estimation of Mesh Node
034 Motion estimation is very important for video analysis such as model-
based video
representation, object tracking, robot navigation, etc. Motion estimation
algorithms rely on
the fundamental idea that the luminance (I) of a point P(x,y) on a moving
object remains
constant along P's motion trajectory, i. e., represented as
I((x,y);t) = I((x + Ax, y + Ay); t + At) (1)
where Ax and Ay denote the motion of point P.
035 To estimate anchor point motion, various conventional motion detection
methods
may be used such as the Block Matching (BM) technique. The BM is considered as
the
most practical method for motion estimation due to its lesser hardware
complexity. As a
result, it is widely available in VLSI, and almost all 14.261 and MPEG 1-2
coders utilize
BM for motion estimation. In the BM, the displacement for a pixel Py in a
frame i (current
frame) is determined by considering an N x N block centered about (i, j), and
searching the
frame i +1 (Search frame) for the location of the best matching block of the
same size. The
search is usually limited to a window in order to enhance the performance of
the BM.
036 Block Matching Algorithms (BMA) differ between algorithms in the
matching
criteria, the search strategy and the block size. In this embodiment, motion
vectors (MV) of
the anchor points are estimated by generating an 8x8 or 16x16 block of pixels
around the
point. Then the block-matching procedure is applied to estimate the motion
vector for
each node, or for the block as a whole. The technique may incorporate a
conventional
search criterion such as Three Step Search (TSS) and a conventional matching
criterion
such as Minimum Sum Absolute Difference (SAD). It will be understood that, as
this
method is a general technique, any search or matching criterion can be used.
Object Extraction
037 A threshold scheme is incorporated in the algorithm to remove the noise
of the
image sequence and remain the apparent motion. The value of the threshold (TO
is defined
11

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
by the product of the number of pixels in a patch and the average intensity
change of every
pixel between two adjacent frames.
1
7; = N x ___________________ x, (x,y)¨ (x,y)1 (2)
WxH y=1 r=1
where T, is the threshold value for frame i and i-1, N is the number of pixels
in a patch. W
is the width of a frame and H is the height of a frame. X denotes the
luminance value of a
pixel.
038 The object is defined by the neighboring polygons that satisfy I Pi ,
P k ,I
threshold, where P, ,P k,i are the error sums for neighbor patches. Patches
bound by a
rectangle belong to an object represents the height and width of the objects.
In other words,
patches that share similar error values, eg values greater than 3 but less
than 7, share a
similar motion and may be presumed to correspond to the same object. More
dynamic
levels for the object can be defined which describe the dynamic component of
the object
by observing the patches I Pi ¨P k,i I >threshold where P, ,j P k , are
patches within the
object boundary. Single patches or small number of neighbors can be considered
as noise
or smaller object based on the applications or the source of the image
sequences. If a line
of patches runs along the edge of a frame, it may indicate a stabilization
problem in the
source of the images. For example, if all patches in a frame have a similar
error, or
apparent motion, then a possible source for the error may be a shaking of a
camera, such as
by an earthquake, explosion, unauthorized movement of the camera, instability
due to wind
or other unusual event. Thus, an unusual condition may be identified as
occurring when an
object size corresponds to the frame size. Upon detection of a stabilization
problem in the
source of the images or other unusual condition, the condition may be
identified by various
means such as an error message sent to a central controller, or the problem
flagged by a
coding on the frame data itself. If the stabilization indicator persists for a
prolonged
period, such as hours, the problem may be due to a continuous weather feature
such as
snow, which would be seen as a similar error across the entire frame and which
persists
from frame to frame. If the motion vectors change direction repeatedly, the
image source
may be swaying back and forth, such as in a windstorm.
12

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
039 The image can be coded as one unit or as a collection of object with a
background.
The background is defined as the patches that do not belong to any object. The
speed of the
background is defined as the majority of the motion of the nodes. To code a
video object,
we use the polygon using linked node list structure; we code the object as a
binary frame
using a predictive coding in addition to the mesh description. It may also be
desirable to
employ the mesh description in conjunction with a conventional compression
technique
such as DCT. Such an alternative streaming technique is described below in
relation to
Figs. 18-21.
040 After having generated the final mesh topology, it is fairly
straightforward to find
that the smallest patches will focus on moving objects. The motion information
of the
smallest patches represents the movement of the objects. In order to combine
the smallest
patches to form individual semantically meaningful object, a connectivity
neighborhood
method is used and a dynamic level is generated as follows: For each patch:
1) Give the maximum level of dynamics /õ,
2) Compute the deformed pi, k (pi, k+1), where each p, is a value of a pixel
within a patch
and k indicates from k (reference frame) , k+1 indicates frame k+1 (current
frame),
hence pi, k is the patch on the reference frame, and pi, k+1 is the warped
patch using an
affine transformation on the current frame
3) If (threshold (/,-I) k+1 I <threshold (4))
4) Mark the patches and add it to the list /,_/ as belonging to the same
object
5) For each patch repeat steps 2-4
This method relies on the spatial information of the patches. Sometimes the
apparent
motion due to the noise cannot always be removed using the threshold. The
noisy pixels
will form isolated clusters. To account for this, connected components smaller
than a
certain size are filtered out as noisy background. Thus the objects we are
concerned with
can be extracted. The global motion extraction is based on the local motion
information of
the smallest patches. In our context, we average the motion vectors of the
patches. To
compute the local motion vector of the patches, we apply the BM described
above. In
generating the procedure, the affine transformation is used to reconstruct the
patches. The
reconstructed patch is used to decide if a patch should be split or merged.
13

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
Affine Transformation
041 An affine transformation is an important class of linear 2-D geometric
transformations, which map variables into another set of new variables by
applying a linear
combination of translation, rotation, scaling and/or shearing operations. The
general affine
transformation is commonly written in homogeneous coordinates as shown below:
[xl= [al a2Txl+ra31
Ly La4 adLyi Lad (3)
where ai, i = 1, ..., 6 designate the parameters of the affine model, the base
coordinates (x,
y) are transformed to produce the derived coordinates (x', y).
042 In order to save computational time, a multiplication-free affine
transformation
should be used instead of the traditional one. The affine parameters can be
obtained by
mapping the vertices of a triangle. Let (xi, y,,), (x2, y2), (x3, y3) denote
the coordinates of the
vertices of a triangle on the reference frame and (xi yi), (x2', y2), (x3',
y3) denote their
coordinates on the current frame. To compute the six affine parameters, we
need the
following equations:
(xi Lx21)x (Y, ¨.Y3) '¨x31)x (Y, ¨.Y2)
(4)
(5)
¨.)x(x2Yi¨A-Y2) (6)
¨09i ¨xY2)
a¨(YILY2I)x(Y1¨Y3)¨(YILY3')x(Yi -Y2)
4 - (7)
(xi¨x2)x(i¨.Y3)¨(-¨x3)x(Yi¨Y2)
(Yie¨Y2')x(¨x3)¨(YILY3')x(xi¨x2)
a5 = (8)
(x, ¨x3) x (Yi ¨y2)¨(xi ¨x2) x (Yi ¨Y3)
= ¨.')x(x3Y1¨xLY3)¨()11. ¨)x(x2/1¨xY2) (9)
¨V3) --)(T2Y1 --V2)
043 The above equations show that the original affine transformation needs
numerous
multiplication operations. In multiplication-free affine transformation, the
computation of
affine parameters can be simplified to the following relations:
14

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
X2 '¨X1
a = (10)
1
X2 ¨x1
X3 ¨X2
a2 = (11)
Y3 Y2
I I
a4 Y2 ___________________________________ (12)
X2 ¨ X1
Y3 __________________________ ¨Y2
a5 (13)
Y3 ¨ Y2
044 To apply multiplication-free affine transformation, a temporary right-
angled
triangle is chosen with the lengths of the sides of the right triangle as
powers of 2. The
transformation of the two general triangles is done over two steps through the
right-angled
triangle. Because the patches we are using have 4 +edges, they can be split
into triangles.
This multiplication-free affine transformation is a new edition of the scan-
line affine
transformation; the parameters a3 and a6 are not needed. In the process of
generating the
topology, the motion vectors of the patch nodes are obtained at the same time,
including
the affine parameters of each patch that are needed to extract the global
motion
information. This greatly reduces the computational effort.
045 This technique can be used not only for connected regions labeling, but
also for
noise filtering. In case of significant noises, there will be disconnected
regions all over the
image. The result of eight-connectivity neighborhood method will be many
isolated
regions including both real moving objects and noises. By assigning a
threshold of size, the
small regions representing noises could be filtered out:
If Size[object(i)] >T
A video object (keep it)
Else
Noise (discard it) (14)
where size[object(i)] calculates the size of 1th object, and T is the
threshold, the value of
which depends on the average object size that should be known in advance.

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
Feature Point Extraction
046 Feature points, also referred to as tracking points, are selected from
the moving
object and used for tracking in the video sequence. Comer detection methods
can provide
good result of feature points on an image. If there is only one object in the
image and the
background is clear, the corner detector can produce reliable output. But if
the background
is textured and more than one object is present, it is hard to decide which
detected point
belongs to an object and which one belongs to the background. In this
embodiment, we use
motion cues together with comer detection to give satisfactory results. While
there are
several kinds of different corner detection methods in the literature, this
embodiment
employs the Susan comer detector because it's efficient and easy to use.
Motion Tracking
047 Tracking in our work is achieved using affine motion model, a method
which takes
advantage of the viewpoint invariance of single image features and the
collective temporal
coherence of a cloud of such features, without requiring features to exist
through entire
sequences. Furthermore, affine motion model also provides tolerance to
features appearing
at and disappearing from the edge of the image as a wider or narrower view is
taken. In
case of difficulty caused by the temporal instability of a single corner of an
object, where a
single tracking point may fade from time to time, an object may be tracked by
a less
rigorous constraint such as tracking any three tracking points assigned to the
object.
Hence, if an object is defined by 6 tracking points, A, B, C, D, E and F, the
algorithm
might track the object by tracking any three of the points across successive
frames.
048 Because scaling is an affine transformation, the method is
fundamentally invariant
to zoom, rotation, shape changes and general difformation. Moreover, because
the method
allows corners to disappear and appear, and because the gaze points are not
tied to a
physical feature, it appears to solve the other problem introduced by zooming.
049 The proposed algorithm adopts point-based method using affine transfer for

tracking. This proposed algorithm is different from the other point-based
tracking methods
in that it tracks not only the gaze point, but also the size of the target.
The feature points
detection is performed only when the correlation of the affine basis set
between previous
and current frame is less than a threshold. This results in reduction of
computational cost.
16

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
050 While
tracking an object undergoing a linear transformation, its position could be
represented by the center of an object, which will be used as the gaze point
to control the
movement of the camera. Centroid is usually calculated to be the object
center, and the
contour of moving object is usually used to compute the size of the object.
However, the
calculation of centroid and contour is time-consuming. the proposed algorithm
uses object
boundary box to represent the size of an object, and the center of object
boundary box to
replace the centroid.
051 As described
above, the region of the moving object is selected to be a rectangle to
speed up the operation. The changed blocks will be connected to form objects
according to
the rule of connectivity. Then the maximum object boundary box can be formed.
The idea
is shown in Fig. 7. The aim of our smart tracking system is to track the size
and position of
a moving object 702. The object size could be represented by the size of
maximum object
boundary box (OBB) 704, and the object position could be located by the center
of OBB,
which we name it as gaze point. The object boundary box itself could be
represented by its
four corners: object boundary points. So only four points are needed to
represent the object
size.
052 Referring to
Fig. 9, when the object is detected, the boundary box can be located,
and corner detection is performed within the boundary box. Three points are
selected from
the corner points, which will act as the affine basis points, affl,., aff 2,
and aff3,
Meanwhile, the locations of gaze point [gr] and the 4 corner points of the
boundary box
[a Cr, ,c1 r]
are recorded, and they will be reconstructed in the following frames. If the
three affine basis points are matched in the next frame as afflõ 42, and 43, ,
the
affine parameters can be computed, and the new position of the gaze point
[gc], and the
new object boundary points [a, ,c1c] can
be produced. Then in the third frame, a
short time later, the affine basis points are tracked again and the affine
parameters are
computed again to reconstruct new object boundary points and gaze point.
Neither the gaze
point nor the object boundary points need to correspond to any physical
features, they are
all virtual points. Thus with any three corner correspondences (on the
detected moving
object) in two frames, we can reconstruct the positions of the desired points
given their
image coordinates in the previous frame. The three affine basis points need
not to be the
17

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
same over time, they will be abandoned if their correlation between 2 frames
are less than
the predefined threshold, and a new affine basis set will be selected. By
using this method,
there are only 3 comer points that will be tracked in every frame, and only 5
virtual points
will be reconstructed to decide the object position and size.
053 The method 800 of analyzing an object using tracking points will now be
summarized with reference to Fig. 8. Once the mesh has been established
according to the
procedure in Fig. 1, tracking points are assigned to an object, such as to the
corners of the
rectangle in step 802. For simplicity, tracking points are generally allocated
around the
boundary of the object. Motion vectors corresponding to the tracking points
are found in
step 804, and the object is analyzed based on the tracking points in step 806.
Analysis may
include, for example, monitoring movement of the object which may include
calculating
the velocity of the object from the motion vectors, or object identification,
which may be
accomplished using the size of the objects as defined by the tracking points.
Affine Basis Set Selection
054 Corners
appear to be ideal features to provide information of the targets. However,
there are still some problems we will have to face. One of the problems is:
which point is
most relevant? The proposed algorithm only extracts comer points within the
object
boundary box, which already partly solved this problem, but there will still
be a small
portion in the object boundary box that contains the background. The proposed
algorithm
currently uses a technique based on corner velocity: it is assumed that the
background is
stationary and the target is moving, and there is only one moving object in
the field of
view. Every candidate comer point will be estimated for its velocity between
frame t1 and
frame t2. If its velocity is zero, it will be filtered out as a background
corner. Fig. 10
shows that some background corners are detected together with the object's
feature points,
where the actual image with an object 101 inside object boundary 103 is shown
in the right
frame, and the detected corners 105 of the object 101 are shown in the left
frame. Taking
into account the corner velocity, this problem should be solved.
055 The second and considerably more important problem is that while tracking
an
individual corner, it may be only stable in a few frames. Either noise or
occlusion will
inevitably cause it to disappear sooner or later. The possibility of fixating
the tracking on
18

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
any individual corner is ruled out. Individual corner disappearing and
reappearing will
significantly affect the affine tracking result. A possible solution is to use
a more
sophisticated control strategy. We select individual comers to be affine basis
point, and
switch from one set to another set when they disappear. Fig. 11 shows this
idea. The black
solid circles are the affine basis points, and other circles are feature
points the figure shows
the different point set selection.
056 A rapid stable selection of affine basis set can be made by
automatically choosing
the left and right most feature points on the moving object, and then choosing
the third
point that maximizes the area of the triangle defined by the three points.
057 The third and the most difficult problem is in case of tracking a non-
rigid object
like an active person such as a person involved in a sport. For example, while
tracking a
human such as the human shown in Fig. 12, with one arm raised and in motion,
if we just
randomly select 3 points from all the feature points detected on the moving
person to be
the affine basis points, the selected points may be on one leg or arm, which
mould not
represent the global motion of the person and may obtain wrong prediction
results. So we
must set some constraints for the selection of the feature points.
058 Head and feet motions of a person involved in a sport may be the most
suitable to
represent the global motion of the person. The constraints should be set to
locate the 3
selected affine basis points on head and feet. Locating the feet is not
difficult. We can do
that by limiting the searching area to be around the lower left and right
corner of the
detected object boundary. But for the head, the situation may be more complex.
If the arm
of the person is raised, and moving, the head is not always the top. To select
the tracking
points, the person is first detected as a set of contiguous patches having
similar motion
vectors. Lower right and left comers of the detected object are identified as
feet. The head
is then selected as the top most point near the middle of the object, which
can be detected
using various techniques, such as taking the different between left and right
halves of the
object. The projection of the head will remain the extreme point even if it's
actually not
the uppermost part of the body. Hence, depending on the object being tracked,
constraints
may be required to track the object.
059 Once an object has been defined by tracking points, various
observations may be
made of the object and interpreted according to assumptions that depend on the
scene. For
example, in transport monitoring, two smaller objects merging as one larger
object moving
19

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
may be identifed as a collision between vehicles. A smaller object in a street
scene may be
identified as a bicycle, while a very large object may be defined as a truck.
To estimate
velocity of an object, the average of the motion vectors of a patch may be
converted into an
absolute velocity using a calibration of the scene, for example each pixel
might correspond
to 1 meter in the scene.
Motion Estimation Of Feature Points
060 The affine basis set will be tracked in every frame to generate
different affine
parameters. There are several kinds of conventional motion estimation
algorithms, such as
Three Step Search (TSS), Full Search, Cross Search, and Optical How. As stated
before,
motion estimation algorithms rely on the fundamental idea that the luminance
(s) of a point
P on a moving object remains constant along P's motion trajectory. As before,
the motion
vectors (MV) of the affine basis points are estimated by generating an 8x8
block of pixels
surrounding the point as shown in Fig. 13, and the motion estimation method is
applied on
the whole block to generate the motion vector. The motion vector (MV) of the
object can
be calculated as:
MV(x, y) = (16)
where g,(x,,y,) is the coordinate of the gaze point on the current frame, and
gr(xõy1)is
the coordinate of the gaze point on the reference frame.
Tracking The Object
061 After finding the affine basis set on the next frame, affine parameters
are acquired,
then the new location of the object (the gaze point) and the new size of the
object (object
boundary points) can be reconstructed, which is shown in Fig. 14, showing
frame 1 in (a),
and frame 2 in (b), where gaze point 142a is replaced by new gaze point 142b,
affine basis
point 144a is replaced by affine basis point 144b, and object boundary point
146a is
replaced by 146b
062 Unlike other tracking methods such as correlation matching, this method
is
viewpoint invariant, and will work even if the fixation point is occluded. As
long as the
affine basis are matched between frames, the gaze point and object boundary
points can
always be reconstructed.

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
063 From Fig. 15 we can see that, when there is a partial occlusion 152,
which may not
be in the same location relative to object 154 between frames (1), (2), and
(3), the current
affine basis points can not be tracked on the next frame, so the proposed
algorithm will
reselect a new affine basis set. The gaze point and object boundary points
need not to be
visible, they can be reconstructed even though the corresponding physical
object points are
occluded.
A Real-time Implementation System
064 The proposed algorithm is implemented using an apparatus, as shown in
Fig. 16,
comprising an active video camera system 162 for acquiring successive frames
of data, a
camera switch 164, and a data processor 166 comprised of a video capture card
(not
shown) and a personal computer 168 or a special computer board for processing
the
successive frames of data.
065 A camera coordinate system is used to represent image pixels. Each
pixel in an
image frame taken by VCC4 camera can be defined as (x,y,a,13,8),, , x and y
represent
the image pixel location (the (0,0) point of the coordinate is the center of
the whole image),
a is pan angle, )3 is tilt angle, and 8 is the zoom setting.
066 The camera is first set to a default setting, and begins to do foreground
segmentation. If there is any moving object appears within the camera's
current field of
view, it will be detected and tracked. The object gaze point is set to be the
camera gaze
point (the center of the image). During the presence period of this object,
the gaze point is
predicted from frame to frame by affine motion model (this will be discussed
in detail
later). The camera is controlled to follow the detected gaze point to keep the
moving object
in the center of the camera's field of view. Assume current location of the
object gaze
point is already the camera gaze point, it could also be represented by CENTER
(0, 0), and
(x,P+1, y:) be the predicted location of the gaze point on the next frame, the
new camera
setting could be computed as follow:
Pan position afro = a, + f (8)*
(x,P+1 ¨ CENTERx)
Tilt position = A + f (8)* (y,P.0
¨ CENTER)
21

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
Zoom position 8,+, =8, (3.1)
where ai+1 ,A+181+1 represent the new camera location. [(8) is the pan/tilt
angle factor
under zoom setting 8. The new object gaze point will be the center of the next
image after
the camera moves to the new pan, tilt and zoom position. Since we first deal
with the
pan/tilt control, the zoom setting is assumed to be constant in frame i and
frame i +1. This
is shown in Fig. 17. The cross represents the object gaze point, the circle
represents the
cameral gaze point CENTER (0, 0). In frame i, the object gaze point and the
camera are
overlapped. In frame i +1, they are in different image locations. The purpose
of pan/tilt
control is to force them overlap again.
067 The zoom
operation is performed when the detected moving object is too small or
too large. Object will be zoomed in or out to the desired size. The object
boundary is
predicted by affine motion model, and then the size of the predicted object
will be
calculated and compared with the desired object size. If the difference ratio
exceeded a
predefined limitation, the new zoom setting will be computed, and the camera
will be
controlled to zoom into the new setting to hold the object in its field of
view. Let sd be
the desired object size after zooming, and be the
predicted object size on the next
frame, the new zoom setting is calculated as follow.
=8, + g(----) (3.2)
s,,,
where 5, is the previous zoom setting, and 8 is the new zoom setting. g(2.3d)
is the
s,,,
function used to transfer size ratio into zoom steps.
068 The
camera switch has eight video input and one output. It is controlled by the
computer's parallel port to switch between 8 cameras, so the target can be
tracked from
different point of view.
A Hybrid Coding Approach
069 The
proposed hybrid coding approach is consisted of three main operations:
reconstruction error detection, mesh node reduction, and bit stream encoding.
In this
22

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
section, all three operations are described in detail. The procedure that is
used to
reconstruct video frames encoded from the hybrid approach is also discussed.
070 For the first operation in the proposed hybrid coding approach,
reconstruction error
detection, a regular 2D uniform mesh initially needs to be created for the
current video
frame and the motion vector for all the mesh nodes need to be estimated. Then,
the
magnitude of the reconstruction error (6-patch) for each square-sized patch in
the mesh is
evaluated by applying the affine transform procedure to reconstruct each mesh
patch and
comparing the absolute difference between the pel values of the reconstructed
patch and
those in the original frame. Mathematically, Epatch is expressed as follows:
yi lc c
&patch = E (1)
where C,,1 refers to original pel values, C refers to reconstructed pel
values, (i010) refers
to the starting position of the patch, and N refers to the patch dimension
(i.e. mesh node
spacing). If the epatch of a patch is higher than a predefined reconstruction
error threshold
(Terror), then the patch is considered as inappropriate for mesh-based motion
analysis and
DCT encoding will be introduced to spatially compress the patch. On the other
hand, if
ePatch is below Terror, then the patch is described using the mesh-based
motion analysis
model. The complete reconstruction error detection process is summarized in
the
flowchart shown in Fig 18. In step 182, the frame is segmented into a mesh,
and in step
183, motion vectors of the mesh nodes are estimated. A patch by patch analysis
is then
commenced. If Epatch is below Terrorr in step 184, then we proceed to step
187, where the
patch is spatially compressed with DCT encoding. If not, the current patch is
temporally
compressed with mesh-based motion analysis in step 185. In both cases,
analysis moves to
the next patch in the current frame in step 186, and the process returns to
step 184.
071 After the reconstruction error detection process has been completed,
the mesh node
reduction operation can be carried out. The purpose of this operation is to
remove the
nodes of those patches that are not described by the mesh-based motion
analysis model
(i.e. those compressed by DCT encoding), so that the compressed data stream of
mesh-
based motion analysis can be minimized during bit stream encoding. However, as

illustrated in Fig 19, since most mesh nodes, except for the boundary ones,
belong to more
23

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
than one patch, a mesh node cannot be deleted unless all the patches that it
belongs to are
compressed by DCT encoding. Otherwise, the mesh node must remain in the mesh.
072 Since mesh-based motion analysis and DCT encoding are both used during the

inter-frame coding process, the video codec must describe which method is used
to
compress each patch in the frame. An effective way to depict this information
is to encode
an overhead bit, which may be called a "patch compression identification" bit
(or PCI bit),
for each patch prior to the streaming of data from mesh-based motion analysis
and DCT
encoding. In particular, if mesh-based motion analysis is used to describe the
patch, an
asserted PCI bit is encoded; conversely, if DCT encoding is used to compress
the patch, an
unasserted PCI bit is encoded.
073 After all the PCI bits are encoded, the motion vector of the active
nodes in the mesh
and the encoded DCT data can be streamed. The resulting structure of the
overall data
stream in the hybrid coding approach, as shown in Fig 21, is thus composed of
a
combination of PCI bits, motion vectors, and DCT encoded patches. Note that
the
streaming of PCI bits prior to the streaming of motion vectors and encoded DCT
data is
necessary so that the video codec can anticipate for the correct number of
motion vectors
and DCT encoded patches during decoding.
074 During decoding, the PCI bits are first read in from the hybrid encoded
data stream.
Based on the location of the asserted PCI bits in the data stream, the decoder
can then
determine the number of motion vectors and DCT encoded patches to read in from
the
hybrid data stream. If mesh-based motion analysis is used to describe a patch,
then the
motion vectors of all the nodes that belong to the patch are required. Once
all the motion
vectors and DCT encoded patches have been obtained, the video frame can be
reconstructed on a patch-by-patch basis. Specifically, for patches that are
described by
mesh-based motion analysis, their contents are recovered by using the affine
transform to
spatially warp the pel values from the reference frame. Otherwise, their
contents are
reconstructed from inverse DCT.
075 When considering the order used to process the polygonal patches, it is
useful to
consider the order to be a space-filling curve. By using a space-filling
curve, a two-
dimensional space may be processed in a linear manner. The space-filling curve
is a line
that visits each patch of the mesh. However, it never intersects itself, and
visits each patch
only once. To maintain the visiting order, the space-filling curve numbers the
patches in
24

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
the order they are visited, with the order starting at zero for convenience.
While any line
that visits the grid cells of the mesh in some order can be used as a space
filling curve,
there are some desirable properties for a space-filling curve:
076 The space-filling curve should preserve spatial proximity. The patches
close to
each other in the space should be close to each other in the order scheme
imposed by the
space filling curve, although it is accepted that there is no order scheme
that completely
preserves spatial proximity; i.e., we can never guarantee that patches close
to each other in
the mesh will always be close to each other in the ordering. The path has two
free ends
and it visits every cell exactly once without crossing itself. The space-
filling curve has a
recursive development. To derive a curve of order i, each vertex of the curve
is replaced
by the curve of order i-i. The space-filling curve should be simple to
compute. The
space-filling curve should be able to be constructed for any size of the
space.
077 Referring
now to Fig. 21, there is shown a space-filling curve which follows the
row-major order. While simple to compute, it does not preserve spatial
proximity, and is
inappropriate for the present application. The most common orders are shown in
Figs 22
(the Z-order), 23 (the Gray order), and 24 (the Hilbert order). In Figs. 21
through 24, 210,
220, 230, and 240 represent the individual patches (squares in these
examples); 212, 222,
232, and 242 represent the curve; and 214, 224, 234, and 244 represent the
vertices that are
reached for each patch 210, 220, 230 and 240. Due to the simplicity of
computing the Z-
value (Morton code), the Z-order is widely used in data indexing applications.
The Z-
value of a grid cell is computed by interleaving the bits of the binary
representation of its x
and y coordinates of the grid cell. In the Gray order, as described for
example in Christos
Faloutsos "Gray codes for partial match and range queries", IEEE Transactions
on
Software Engineering, 14(10):1381-1393, October 1988, to get a cell's
corresponding
code, the bits of the Gray code of the z and y coordinates of a patch are
interleaved. The
Hilbert order is a continuous ordering, as described, for example, in David J.
Abel and
David M. Mark, "A comparative analysis of some two dimensional ordering" Int.
Journal
of Geographical Information Systems, 4(1):21-31, 1990, which means that any
two
consecutive numbers in the order will correspond to two adjacent patches in
the mesh. The
Hilbert curve is not simple to compute. The computing method of the Hilbert
curve is
described in Nicklous Wirth, Algorith+Data Structure+Programs, Prentice-
Hall,
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1976. and C. Faloutsos, S. Roseman "Farcticals
for

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
Secondary Key Retrieval", Proc. of the ACM Conf. on the Principle of Database
Systems,
1989, 247-252. Several comparative studies show that the Z-order and the
Hilbert order
are the most suitable for use in spatial access methods. The Hilbert order
usually out-
performs the Z-order (as shown in previously mentioned references) from the
point of view
of preserving spatial proximity. However, due to the complexity in computing
the Hilbert
curve, we are interested in the Z-curve.
078 Figure 25 illustrates how the present invention and the IEEE 802.16 WiMAX
standard for Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks work together in an
embodiment 2500
of the invention. The teachings of the present invention provide the camera
portion 2502 a
high degree of local intelligence, thereby freeing-up communications servers
2518 that are
monitoring hundreds of cameras. In Fig. 25, the acronym HASM, referring to
Hierarchical
Adaptive Structure Mesh is used to represent the teachings of this invention.
The
embodiment is ideal for a traffic monitoring system, which will be the
application
considered below.
079 As video
is captured in block 2506 by camera 2508, it is analyzed by HASM block
2512 and block 2510 for conditions such as low light-levels, snow, rain or
wind that may
require image enhancement. The video is coded by block 2514 and recorded to
recording
media 2516 such as flash memory or can be transmitted to a server 2518 using
the IEEE
802.16 standard, for real-time viewing. The coding will allow 24 hours of
video to be
compressed on a 256M flash memory card in recording media 2516. The camera
2502 can
then download this sequence on demand in the event that a hard recording of an
accident or
other incident is required, whereas current ITS systems must be wired directly
to a
recording device at the server. In block 2520, an object can be identified,
and size and
speed information can be extracted in block 2522 in order to track the object
by controlling
the camera pan / tilt / zoom (PTZ) in blocks 2524 and 2526. In addition, in
block 2526,
zoning can be activated to hand the camera off to another camera as the object
moves from
one camera's field of view to the next. An Applications Programming Interface
(API) 2528
allows the camera 2502 to communicate to a third party application for other
local systems
such as traffic signal control. The camera can turn itself off or be activated
by block 2530
on command by the user. The IEEE 802.16 WiMAX network operates on unlicensed
spectrum with a range of 50 kilometers. One base station 2504 can handle
thousands of
cameras since the primary tasks are control related. Streaming video can be
decoded by
26

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
HASM in block 2532 for real-time viewing by an operator on a display 2534. An
API
interface 2536 also allows integration with third party ITS applications.
Also, block 2538
indicates whether the HASM 2512 is silent.
Embodiment features
080 An advantage of this embodiment is that one module can be designed for
both fixed
and PTZ cameras. A basic system may include such features as basic monitoring
and
analysis, signal control, incident recording and networking. New features,
such as vehicle
tracking, red light enforcement, system-level control, etc., can be added
later via software
upgrades that can be obtained, for example, by downloading them over the
network. The
following table defines possible basic and expanded features:
Basic Features Fixed Intersection Camera Highway PTZ Camera
Monitoring & analysis X X
Incident recording X X
Wireless network X X
Image enhancement X X
Signal control X
Expanded Features
System-level control X
Vehicle tracking X
Zoning X
Enforcement X
081 Monitoring and analysis can include traffic volume, density, lane
occupancy,
classification of vehicles, or road conditions in a lane. Signal control can
include the
presence of vehicles approaching or waiting at an intersection, queue length
measurement
by lane, and a NEMA, or other standard, signal controller interface. Incident
recording can
include 24 hours of in-camera recording, memeory contents that can be
overwritten or
downloaded over a network for 24.7 coverage, one recording device at a server
for all
cameras, and remote access for the in-camera recording. The wireless network
can include
technology related to the 802.16 wireless network, or an integration of 4
cameras with
802.11 and each intersection with 802.16. In addition any number of cameras
may be
selected for real-time monitoring, where hundreds of cameras can be managed
for both
27

CA 02812890 2014-01-06
control and compressed video download, video download is available by
sequentially
polling cameras and downloading memory, (eg. 256 Mb at 30-50 Mb/s), and there
is
centralized camera lane-programming.
APPLICATIONS
082 This invention has applications wherever video information is processed
such as in
video coding including in video coders and decoders, videophones, video
conferencing,
digital video cameras, digital video libraries, mobile video stations and
video satellite
communication; bio technology including diagnostics, high throuhgputs,
robotics surgery,
water quality monitoring, drug discovery and screening; surveillance including
personal
identification, remote monitoring, hazardous condition identification,
transportation
vehicle tracking and enhanced traffic control; robotics including higher
performance and
throughput; military applications including, high speed target tracking &
guidance,
unmanned vehicle landing; entertainment including toys that can see and
interact;
interactive biometrics; industrial applications including dynamic inspection
and video
communication in plants; entertainment video; digital cameras and camcorder;
enhanced
video conferencing; smart boards for video cameras; stabilizers for video
cameras and
video projectors.
083 In the claims, the word "comprising" is used in its inclusive sense and
does not
exclude other elements being present. The indefinite article "a" before a
claim feature
does not exclude more than one of the feature being present. A "data point" as
used in this
disclosure and the claims means an intensity value of a signal received by a
detector, such
as a video camera. The detector will typically be a two dimensional array of
detector
elements, in which case the data point will correspond to a sample from one of
the detector
elements at the sample rate of the element. However, the detector may also be
a one-
dimensional array operated in a push-broom fashion. An "anchor point" is a
location
having an x value and a y value in a two dimensional frame. An anchor point
need not
coincide with a data point.
084 Immaterial modifications may be made to the embodiments of the invention
described here without departing from the invention.
28

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2015-10-27
(22) Filed 2004-05-04
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2005-11-04
Examination Requested 2013-04-16
(45) Issued 2015-10-27

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Maintenance Fee

Last Payment of $229.50 was received on 2021-03-03


 Upcoming maintenance fee amounts

Description Date Amount
Next Payment if small entity fee 2022-05-04 $229.50 if received in 2021
$229.04 if received in 2022
Next Payment if standard fee 2022-05-04 $459.00 if received in 2021
$458.08 if received in 2022

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee;
  • the late payment fee; or
  • additional fee to reverse deemed expiry.

Patent fees are adjusted on the 1st of January every year. The amounts above are the current amounts if received by December 31 of the current year. Please refer to the CIPO Patent Fees web page to see all current fee amounts.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $400.00 2013-04-16
Application Fee $200.00 2013-04-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2006-05-04 $50.00 2013-04-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2007-05-04 $50.00 2013-04-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2008-05-05 $50.00 2013-04-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2009-05-04 $100.00 2013-04-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2010-05-04 $100.00 2013-04-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2011-05-04 $100.00 2013-04-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2012-05-04 $100.00 2013-04-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 9 2013-05-06 $100.00 2013-04-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 10 2014-05-05 $125.00 2014-03-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 11 2015-05-04 $125.00 2015-04-24
Final Fee $150.00 2015-08-17
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2016-05-04 $125.00 2016-02-10
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2017-05-04 $125.00 2017-04-13
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2018-05-04 $125.00 2018-02-15
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2019-05-06 $225.00 2019-04-05
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2020-05-04 $225.00 2020-02-21
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 17 2021-05-04 $229.50 2021-03-03
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
INTELLIVIEW TECHNOLOGIES INC.
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
None
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

To view selected files, please enter reCAPTCHA code :




Filter

Document
Description
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Representative Drawing 2013-06-17 1 13
Cover Page 2013-06-17 2 52
Abstract 2013-04-16 1 26
Description 2013-04-16 30 1,487
Claims 2013-04-16 7 218
Drawings 2013-04-16 16 389
Description 2013-04-17 28 1,459
Claims 2013-04-17 3 83
Claims 2014-01-06 2 51
Description 2014-01-06 28 1,474
Claims 2015-01-12 2 35
Representative Drawing 2015-10-09 1 12
Cover Page 2015-10-09 2 54
Correspondence 2013-04-30 1 36
Assignment 2013-04-16 3 109
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-04-16 42 2,052
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-07-04 4 173
Fees 2016-02-10 1 33
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-01-06 63 3,185
Fees 2014-03-05 1 33
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-07-10 2 68
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-01-12 5 101
Fees 2015-04-24 1 33
Correspondence 2015-08-17 1 30
Fees 2017-04-13 1 33
Fees 2018-02-15 1 33
Fees 2019-04-05 1 33
Fees 2020-02-21 1 33