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21. The Non-Accidentalness Principle for Visual Perception

Agnès Desolneux, Lionel Moisan and Jean-Michel Morel

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781119954682.2013.00024.x


Human visual perception is able to see geometric structures in images. But these geometric structures do not exist in the images; they are the result of a construction process that aims at grouping together points sharing a quality in common. To analyze images automatically with a computer the way a human being would do it, we first have to answer, from a computational viewpoint, the question: “How can we go from qualitative to quantitative?” Such a goal can be achieved by combining two principles of visual perception: the non-accidentalness principle and the Gestalt grouping laws. We will detail these two principles, and we will show how they can be combined in the framework of the so-called a contrario methodology. We will illustrate this methodology on three examples: alignments, contrasted curves and good continuations. We will end the chapter with an experimental section in which we will propose some protocols to check the validity of the a contrario methodology. The non-accidentalness principle, as we will understand it in this chapter, is a principle of visual perception that aims at answering the following question: What part of the information arriving at our retina is relevant for visual perception? In other words, what is the mechanism that makes some groupings meaningful for building visual objects, and others not? All these questions naturally arose, in the second ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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