Scene labeling is the problem of assigning an object label to each pixel. It unifies the image segmentation and object recognition problems. The importance of using contextual information in scene labeling frameworks has been widely realized in the field. We propose a contextual framework, called contextual hierarchical model (CHM), which learns contextual information in a hierarchical framework for scene labeling. At each level of the hierarchy, a classifier is trained based on downsampled input images and outputs of previous levels. Our model then incorporates the resulting multi-resolution contextual information into a classifier to segment the input image at original resolution. This training strategy allows for optimization of a joint posterior probability at multiple resolutions through the hierarchy. Contextual hierarchical model is purely based on the input image patches and does not make use of any fragments or shape examples. Hence, it is applicable to a variety of problems such as object segmentation and edge detection. We demonstrate that CHM outperforms state-of-the-art on Stanford background and Weizmann horse datasets. It also outperforms state-of-the- art edge detection methods on NYU depth dataset and achieves state-of-the-art on Berkeley segmentation dataset (BSDS 500).
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