International Journal of Computer Vision

, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 328–346

Recovering Occlusion Boundaries from an Image


DOI: 10.1007/s11263-010-0400-4

Cite this article as:
Hoiem, D., Efros, A.A. & Hebert, M. Int J Comput Vis (2011) 91: 328. doi:10.1007/s11263-010-0400-4


Occlusion reasoning is a fundamental problem in computer vision. In this paper, we propose an algorithm to recover the occlusion boundaries and depth ordering of free-standing structures in the scene. Rather than viewing the problem as one of pure image processing, our approach employs cues from an estimated surface layout and applies Gestalt grouping principles using a conditional random field (CRF) model. We propose a hierarchical segmentation process, based on agglomerative merging, that re-estimates boundary strength as the segmentation progresses. Our experiments on the Geometric Context dataset validate our choices for features, our iterative refinement of classifiers, and our CRF model. In experiments on the Berkeley Segmentation Dataset, PASCAL VOC 2008, and LabelMe, we also show that the trained algorithm generalizes to other datasets and can be used as an object boundary predictor with figure/ground labels.


Image segmentationOcclusion boundariesFigure/ground labelingImage interpretationScene understanding3D reconstructionDepth from imageEdge detection

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Robotics InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA