Sparsity-driven bandwidth-efficient decentralized tracking in visual sensor networks
Serhan Cosar, Müjdat Çetin
Computer Vision and Image Understanding, vol. 139, pp. 40-58, October 2015
Recent developments in low-cost CMOS cameras have created the opportunity of bringing imaging capabilities to sensor networks and a new field called visual sensor networks (VSNs) has emerged. VSNs consist of image sensors, embedded processors, and wireless transceivers which are powered by batteries. Since energy and bandwidth resources are limited, setting up a tracking system in VSNs is a challenging problem. In this paper, we present a framework for human tracking in VSN environments. The traditional approach of sending compressed images to a central node has certain disadvantages such as decreasing the performance of further processing (i.e., tracking) because of low quality images. Instead, in our decentralized tracking framework, each camera node performs feature extraction and obtains likelihood functions. We propose a sparsity-driven method that can obtain bandwidth-efficient representation of likelihoods extracted by the camera nodes. Our approach involves the design of special overcomplete dictionaries that match the structure of the likelihoods and the transmission of likelihood information in the network through sparse representation in such dictionaries. We have applied our method for indoor and outdoor people tracking scenarios and have shown that it can provide major savings in communication bandwidth without significant degradation in tracking performance. We have compared the tracking results and communication loads with a block-based likelihood compression scheme, a decentralized tracking method and a distributed tracking method. Experimental results show that our sparse representation framework is an effective approach that can be used together with any probabilistic tracker in VSNs.