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Natural Images, Gaussian Mixtures and Dead Leaves
Daniel Zoran · Yair Weiss

Thu Dec 06 02:00 PM -- 12:00 AM (PST) @ Harrah’s Special Events Center 2nd Floor

Simple Gaussian Mixture Models (GMMs) learned from pixels of natural image patches have been recently shown to be surprisingly strong performers in modeling the statistics of natural images. Here we provide an in depth analysis of this simple yet rich model. We show that such a GMM model is able to compete with even the most successful models of natural images in log likelihood scores, denoising performance and sample quality. We provide an analysis of what such a model learns from natural images as a function of number of mixture components --- including covariance structure, contrast variation and intricate structures such as textures, boundaries and more. Finally, we show that the salient properties of the GMM learned from natural images can be derived from a simplified Dead Leaves model which explicitly models occlusion, explaining its surprising success relative to other models.

Author Information

Daniel Zoran (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Yair Weiss (Hebrew University)

Yair Weiss is an Associate Professor at the Hebrew University School of Computer Science and Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from MIT working with Ted Adelson on motion analysis and did postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley. Since 2005 he has been a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. With his students and colleagues he has co-authored award winning papers in NIPS (2002),ECCV (2006), UAI (2008) and CVPR (2009).

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