Secrets of GrabCut and Kernel K-Means

Meng Tang, Ismail Ben Ayed, Dmitrii Marin, Yuri Boykov; Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2015, pp. 1555-1563


The log-likelihood energy term in popular model-fitting segmentation methods, e.g. Zhu&Yuille, Chan-Vese, GrabCut, is presented as a generalized "probabilistic K-means" energy for color space clustering. This interpretation reveals some limitations, e.g. over-fitting. We propose an alternative approach to color clustering using kernel K-means energy with well-known properties such as non-linear separation and scalability to higher-dimensional feature spaces. Our bound formulation for kernel K-means allows to combine general pair-wise feature clustering methods with image grid regularization using graph cuts, similarly to standard color model fitting techniques for segmentation. Unlike histogram or GMM fitting, our approach is closely related to average association and normalized cut. But, in contrast to previous pairwise clustering algorithms, our approach can incorporate any standard geometric regularization in the image domain. We analyze extreme cases for kernel bandwidth (e.g. Gini bias) and demonstrate effectiveness of KNN-based adaptive bandwidth strategies. Our kernel K-means approach to segmentation benefits from higher-dimensional features where standard model fitting fails.

Related Material

author = {Tang, Meng and Ben Ayed, Ismail and Marin, Dmitrii and Boykov, Yuri},
title = {Secrets of GrabCut and Kernel K-Means},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {December},
year = {2015}