, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 114-133
Date: 16 Nov 2012

On-line EM Variants for Multivariate Normal Mixture Model in Background Learning and Moving Foreground Detection

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The unsupervised learning of multivariate mixture models from on-line data streams has attracted the attention of researchers for its usefulness in real-time intelligent learning systems. The EM algorithm is an ideal choice for iteratively obtaining maximum likelihood estimation of parameters in presumable finite mixtures, comparing to some popular numerical methods. However, the original EM is a batch algorithm that works only on fixed datasets. To endow the EM algorithm with the capability to process streaming data, two on-line variants are studied, including Titterington’s method and a sufficient statistics-based method. We first prove that the two on-line EM variants are theoretically feasible for training the multivariate normal mixture model by showing that the model belongs to the exponential family. Afterward, the two on-line learning schemes for multivariate normal mixtures are applied to the problems of background learning and moving foreground detection. Experiments show that the two on-line EM variants can efficiently update the parameters of the mixture model and are capable of generating reliable backgrounds for moving foreground detection.