Signal, Image and Video Processing

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 191–195

The challenge of general machine vision

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11760-013-0549-8

Cite this article as:
Pavlidis, T. SIViP (2014) 8: 191. doi:10.1007/s11760-013-0549-8


I argue that in spite of the progress in several machine vision applications, the general machine vision problem is not going to be solved any time soon. There are three reasons for that: (1) The complexity of human vision: Bottom-up and top-down processes are tightly interwoven, and we have no good models for dealing with that; (2) The fact that perceptual similarity is not the same as mathematical similarity; (3) The illusion of progress by relying on “proofs by example” that are not always valid. I discuss several examples of applications that were successful because they did not face any of the three obstacles.


Machine vision Human vision Perceptual similarity Mathematical similarity Image retrieval 

Supplementary material

11760_2013_549_MOESM1_ESM.docx (813 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 812 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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