The subject of this dissertation is to show how learning can be used for multidimensional signal processing, in particular computer vision. Learning is a wide concept, but it can generally be defined as a system’s change of behaviour in order to improve its performance in some sense.
Learning systems can be divided into three classes: supervised learning, reinforcement learning and unsupervised learning. Supervised learning requires a set of training data with correct answers and can be seen as a kind of function approximation. A reinforcement learning system does not require a set of answers. It learns by maximizing a scalar feedback signal indicating the system’s performance. Unsupervised learning can be seen as a way of finding a good representation of the input signals according to a given criterion.
In learning and signal processing, the choice of signal representation is a central issue. For high-dimensional signals, dimensionality reduction is often necessary. It is then important not to discard useful information. For this reason, learning methods based on maximizing mutual information are particularly interesting.
A properly chosen data representation allows local linear models to be used in learning systems. Such models have the advantage of having a small number of parameters and can for this reason be estimated by using relatively few samples. An interesting method that can be used to estimate local linear models is canonical correlation analysis (CCA). CCA is strongly related to mutual information. The relation between CCA and three other linear methods is discussed. These methods are principal component analysis (PCA), partial least squares (PLS) and multivariate linear regression (MLR). An iterative method for CCA, PCA, PLS and MLR, in particular low-rank versions of these methods, is presented.
A novel method for learning filters for multidimensional signal processing using CCA is presented. By showing the system signals in pairs, the filters can be adapted to detect certain features and to be invariant to others. A new method for local orientation estimation has been developed using this principle. This method is significantly less sensitive to noise than previously used methods.
Finally, a novel stereo algorithm is presented. This algorithm uses CCA and phase analysis to detect the disparity in stereo images. The algorithm adapts filters in each local neighbourhood of the image in a way which maximizes the correlation between the filtered images. The adapted filters are then analysed to find the disparity. This is done by a simple phase analysis of the scalar product of the filters. The algorithm can even handle cases where the images have different scales. The algorithm can also handle depth discontinuities and give multiple depth estimates for semi-transparent images.