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2008 Technical Reports

A Review of Visual Tracking

Kevin Cannons

Technical Report CSE-2008-07

York University

September 16, 2008


This report contains a review of visual tracking in monocular video sequences. For the purpose of this review, the majority of the visual trackers in the literature are divided into three tracking categories: discrete feature trackers, contour trackers, and region-based trackers. This categorization was performed based on the features used and the algorithms employed by the various visual trackers. The first class of trackers represents targets as discrete features (e.g. points, sets of points, lines) and performs data association using a distance metric that accommodates the particular feature. Contour trackers provide precise outlines of the target boundaries, meaning that they must not only uncover the position of the target, but its shape as well. Contour trackers often make use of gradient edge information during the tracking process. Region trackers represent the target with area-based descriptors that define its support and attempt to locate the image region in the current frame that best matches an object template. Trackers that are not in agreement with the abovementioned categorization, including those that combine methods from the three defined classes, are also considered in this review. In addition to categorizing and describing the various visual trackers in the literature, this review also provides a commentary on the current state of the field as well as a comparative analysis of the various approaches. The paper concludes with an outline of open problems in visual tracking.

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