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Unsupervised Image Segmentation using the Deffuant-Weisbuch Model from Social Dynamics

by   Subhradeep Kayal, et al.

Unsupervised image segmentation algorithms aim at identifying disjoint homogeneous regions in an image, and have been subject to considerable attention in the machine vision community. In this paper, a popular theoretical model with it's origins in statistical physics and social dynamics, known as the Deffuant-Weisbuch model, is applied to the image segmentation problem. The Deffuant-Weisbuch model has been found to be useful in modelling the evolution of a closed system of interacting agents characterised by their opinions or beliefs, leading to the formation of clusters of agents who share a similar opinion or belief at steady state. In the context of image segmentation, this paper considers a pixel as an agent and it's colour property as it's opinion, with opinion updates as per the Deffuant-Weisbuch model. Apart from applying the basic model to image segmentation, this paper incorporates adjacency and neighbourhood information in the model, which factors in the local similarity and smoothness properties of images. Convergence is reached when the number of unique pixel opinions, i.e., the number of colour centres, matches the pre-specified number of clusters. Experiments are performed on a set of images from the Berkeley Image Segmentation Dataset and the results are analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively, which indicate that this simple and intuitive method is promising for image segmentation. To the best of the knowledge of the author, this is the first work where a theoretical model from statistical physics and social dynamics has been successfully applied to image processing.


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