How Do You Tell a Blackbird from a Crow?

Thomas Berg, Peter N. Belhumeur; The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2013, pp. 9-16


How do you tell a blackbird from a crow? There has been great progress toward automatic methods for visual recognition, including fine-grained visual categorization in which the classes to be distinguished are very similar. In a task such as bird species recognition, automatic recognition systems can now exceed the performance of non-experts most people are challenged to name a couple dozen bird species, let alone identify them. This leads us to the question, "Can a recognition system show humans what to look for when identifying classes (in this case birds)?" In the context of fine-grained visual categorization, we show that we can automatically determine which classes are most visually similar, discover what visual features distinguish very similar classes, and illustrate the key features in a way meaningful to humans. Running these methods on a dataset of bird images, we can generate a visual field guide to birds which includes a tree of similarity that displays the similarity relations between all species, pages for each species showing the most similar other species, and pages for each pair of similar species illustrating their differences.

Related Material

author = {Berg, Thomas and Belhumeur, Peter N.},
title = {How Do You Tell a Blackbird from a Crow?},
booktitle = {The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {December},
year = {2013}