Deep infrared pedestrian classification based on automatic image matting

Yihui Liang, Han Huang, Zhaoquan Cai, Zhifeng Hao, Kay Chen Tan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Infrared pedestrian classification plays an important role in advanced driver assistance systems. However, it encounters great difficulties when the pedestrian images are superimposed on a cluttered background. Many researchers design very deep neural networks to classify pedestrian from cluttered background. However, a very deep neural network associated with a high computational cost. The suppression of cluttered background can boost the performance of deep neural networks without increasing their depth, while it has received little attention in the past. This study presents an automatic image matting approach for infrared pedestrians that suppresses the cluttered background and provides consistent input to deep learning. The domain expertise in pedestrian classification is applied to automatically and softly extract foreground objects from images with cluttered backgrounds. This study generates trimaps, which must be generated manually in conventional approaches, according to the estimated positions of pedestrian's head and upper body without the need for any user interaction. We implement image matting by adopting the global matting approach and taking the generated trimap as an input. The representation of pedestrian is discovered by a deep learning approach from the resulting alpha mattes in which cluttered background is suppressed, and foreground is enhanced. The experimental results show that the proposed approach improves the infrared pedestrian classification performance of the state-of-the-art deep learning approaches at a negligible computational cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-496
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Soft Computing Journal
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep learning
  • Image matting
  • Infrared image
  • Pedestrian classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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