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International Journal of Computer Trends and Technology (IJCTT) – volume 4 Issue 8– August 2013

ISSN: 2231-2803 Page 2552

An Efficient Moving Object Detection Method under Illumination Changes
, Sherikh K. K.

#1 MTech student(CSE),MES College of Engineering,Kuttippuram,India
*2 Assistant Professor(CSE),MES College of Engineering,Kuttippuram,India

Abstract— Detection of moving objects is the basic low-level
operations in video analysis. One of the main challenges in
any visual surveillance systems is to identify objects of
interest from the background. Background subtraction (BS)
method is the most widely used technique for object detection.
The basic idea is to subtract
the current frame from a background image and to classify
each pixel either as foreground or background by comparing
the difference with a threshold. Due to dynamic
environmental conditions such as illumination changes and
shadows, object segmentation is a difficult and significant
problem that needs to be handled well for a robust visual
surveillance system. Various techniques for moving object
detection were surveyed and a new method based on spatial
and temporal segmentation which handles dynamic
environmental changes effectively was proposed.

Keywords—Background subtraction, object detection,
video surveillance, image segmentation, modelling.
Over the past few decades, the use of video surveillance
systems has become increasingly necessary in order to
confront and control the high rates of criminality and terrorist
threats in commercial, law enforcement, and military
environments. This has lead to the motivation to develop an
accurate and automatic processing system.
Automatic video surveillance systems have become an
essential institution for safety and security in public
environments and in the private sector. The science and
technological applications of advanced video surveillance
systems have progressed tremendously in recent years due to
widened research in areas including transport networks, elder
care, traffic monitoring, traffic flow analysis, endangered
species conservation, home nursing, human activity
understanding, observation of people and vehicles within a
busy environment, etc. The design of an advanced automatic
video surveillance system requires several critical
functionalities including, but not limited to, motion detection,
classification, tracking, behaviour monitoring, activity
analysis, and identification. Motion detection is known to be
of the greatest problem areas. It not only provides
segmentation of the video streams into foreground and
background components in order to extract the desired moving
objects but is also a critical pre-process for several computer
vision applications, including object-based video encoding,
human motion analysis, and human–machine interactions [6].
A moving object can be defined as any significant change
in an image region, different from the background. The basic
operation consists of separating the moving objects called
”foreground” from the static information called ”background”
[9].There are three major classes of motion detection methods.
They are categorized as background subtraction, temporal
differencing, and optical flow [7]. The simplicity of the
background subtraction method makes it the most widely used
and a popular technique.
The success of a background subtraction method lies in the
hands of its background model. A good background model
should therefore address several important properties. These
include noise tolerance, illumination changes, dynamic
background, clutter motion, and convenient
Although background subtraction is the most popular
approach used to detect moving objects in a video sequence, it
may present problems when implemented in some specific
situations. Changes in ambient illumination, such as turning
OFF and ON lights, as well as clutter motion, interfere with
the creation of a successful background model. The existing
background models are either pixel-based or block-based,
both of which have drawbacks. A pixel-based background
model generally cannot adapt to a situation featuring
significant clutter motion or dynamic background movements
and can easily result in undesirable noise levels. A block-
based background model needs to use variations within
corresponding block spaces, limiting them to coarse
detection[10]. In this paper an effective frame-based method
is used to encounter with the various illumination changes
maybe it a gradual illumination change or a sudden
illumination change.
The remainder of this paper is divided into Sections
II–V. Section II presents some of the related work in
background subtraction. The subsequent sections present the
proposed work, experimental results and conclusion


A lot of studies and researches have been conducted to get
a fast and reliable moving object detection system. Some of
the methods are discussed in this section.
Tianzhu Zhang et al.[1], proposed a method based on
scene-specific context features, which reflect motion rules of
objects, including direction of motion and size of object at a
certain location is used. Semantic context information
International Journal of Computer Trends and Technology (IJCTT) – volume 4 Issue 8– August 2013

ISSN: 2231-2803 Page 2553

includes object-specific context information and scene-
specific context information. Object-specific context
information contains x, y image coordinates, area in pixels,
speed, direction of motion, aspect ratio, and percentage
occupancy. Scene-specific context information is learned with
the object-specific context information, and four primary
features are considered: motion patterns of objects, width of
object, paths, and sources/sinks. Then, the semantic context
information is adopted to improve object detection which is
done using real-time background subtraction, where each
pixels are modelled as Mixture of Gaussians.
Jilin Tu et al.[2], detected moving objects as clusters of
bounding boxes based on the image differences (or motions)
between frames. These differences are marked by multiple
moving bounding boxes that may or may not overlapped,
therefore a bounding boxing merging problem arise. This
method presents an algorithm that derives fuzzy rules to
merge the detected bounding boxes into a unique cluster
bounding box that covers a unique object. In order to do this,
first define the relationships of a pair of boxes by their box
geometrical affinity, by their motion cohesion, and their
appearance similarity, etc. The box pair-wise relations are fuse
by means of fuzzy rules and derive a fuzzy logic formulation
on whether a pair of boxes can be merged or not. The
uncertainty inherent in the decision makes a fuzzy logic
approach the ideal candidate.
Wan Zaki et al.[3] combines simple background difference
model with a newly proposed scale-invariant centre surround
detectors(CenSurE) to decrease the difficulty of the BGS
model. CenSurE is chosen for matching correspondence
between two images of the same scene. The CenSurE
computes a simplified box filtering using integral images, at
all locations with different scale-spaces. The scale-space is a
continuous function which is used to find extrema across all
possible scales. To achieve real-time performance, the
CenSurE performs the scale space by applying bi-level kernels
to the original image. Rather than modelling the pixel
intensity to obtain a foreground mask, image features and their
descriptor are used to extract significant changes in the scene.
In M., Natarajan et al.[4], to overcome the drawback of
traditional background subtraction, a statistical mean
technique is used. It is based on the computed statistics of
each and every frame of video or computed statistics of every
k frames by using down sampling to reduce the processing
time. In statistical mean technique, background image is
calculated by computing mean of each and every pixel
available in video. In Modified statistical mean technique,
initially, k number of frames out of total n frames are taken to
calculate mean model N. This mean model N is used for
detection of moving object for first frame. As the first frame is
processing, simultaneously update mean model N, by taking
next frame in derivation of mean model.
Bahadir Karasulu et al.[5] is a modification to the
Background Subtraction(BS) method, which is based on the
entropy-based annealed BS(EbSA) method and used to
optimize the performance of the BS method. EbSA method
converts the given background image of the BS method into
the gray scale format in each related cycle in a loop of
simulated annealing method. At the end of related cycle,
EbSA method gives its optimal threshold value as a high
threshold value. The optimal threshold value determination is
used to segment a given video frame. This segmentation is bi-
level(foreground and background) separation.
F. C. Cheng et al.[6] proposed a method to overcome
sudden illumination changes effectively. It consists of a
prompt temporal differencing method followed by a block-
based evaluation method based on Laplacian distribution
model. After each background block is determined,
background modelling is employed and finally the moving
objects extracted. Each Laplacian distribution value of block
statistics is evaluated to classify blocks as containing either
motion or background using the empirical thresholding
function. Background modelling is started with illumination
change estimation. After the total number of motion blocks is
calculated, the illumination estimation value is evaluated
using the illumination estimation function and the illumination
situation is determined when the calculated illumination
estimation value exceeds a certain threshold. The obtained
background pixels are used to create the background model
and finally the object is extracted.
In this section, we propose a novel moving object detection
method in order to achieve complete and accurate detection of
moving objects. A block diagrammatic representation of the
proposed scheme is given in Fig. 1. Here we use two types of
segmentation schemes: one is a spatio-temporal spatial
segmentation and the other is a temporal segmentation. Spatial
segmentation helps in determining the boundary of the regions
in the scene accurately, and temporal segmentation helps in
determining the foreground and the background parts of

A. Spatial Segmentation
Each image frames are converted to gray scale before the
edge detection. We have used the Canny edge detector which
helps in detecting a wide range of edges in images. The main
advantage of using the Canny edge detector is that it is
adaptable to various environments. A frame from the traffic
video after applying canny edge detection is shown in Fig. 2.
B. Temporal Differencing
An absolute difference between the consecutive frames of
the original video is computed to get a Change Detection
Mask(CDM) and absolute difference between the edge
detected frames are computed, which are taken as input to the
modelling phase. For each pixels the absolute differencing
( ) y x
, A of two consecutive frames ( ) y x I
, and ( ) y x I
1 ÷

is given by

( ) ( ) ( )| , , | ,
y x I y x I y x
t t t ÷
÷ = A

The CDM is obtained using a threshold value obtained
through trial and error.
International Journal of Computer Trends and Technology (IJCTT) – volume 4 Issue 8– August 2013

ISSN: 2231-2803 Page 2554

C. Background Modelling
The outputs of the temporal, spatial, and edge-based
temporal are considered in the modelling phase. First, the
pixels in the temporal direction are modelled as follows
= A ÷
= A +
0 ) , ( 1
0 ) , ( 1
) , (
y x if
y x if
y x V

where ) , ( y x
A is the output obtained from temporal

Fig. 1 Block diagram of the proposed method

Similarly, in spatial direction
+ = + = ÷
+ = + = +
) , 1 ( ) , ( || ) 1 , ( ) , ( 1
) , 1 ( ) , ( || ) 1 , ( ) , ( 1
) , (
y x B y x B y x B y x B if
y x B y x B y x B y x B if
y x V
t t t t
t t t t

where ) , ( y x B
is the incoming frame at time t, and in the
spatio-temporal direction as

= ÷
= +
) , ( ) , ( 1
) , ( ) , ( 1
) , (
y x C y x C if
y x C y x C if
y x V
t t
t t

where ) , ( y x C
is the edge detected frame at time t and
) , (
y x C
t +
, the edge detected frame at time t+1.

Finally, for image modelling a combination of the above
three terms ) , ( y x U is used.

) , ( ) , ( ) , ( ) , ( y x V y x V y x V y x U
st s t
+ + =

Based on ) , ( y x U , the background pixels are estimated
using a threshold value obtained on a trial and error basis.

D. Object Extraction
Finally, the moving object is extracted by superimposing
the obtained foreground pixels on the original image

Fig. 2 Traffic video (a) Original frame 22 (b) Original
frame 23 (c) Spatial segmentation result of frame 22 (d) After
temporal differencing between (a) and (b) (e) After spatio-
temporal segmentation (c) and spatial segmented frame 23
(f)After modelling of (a) (g) After background estimation on
(a) and (h) Final moving object detected frame 22.

We have considered three types of image sequence-an
outdoor traffic video with illumination changes, and two
indoor videos one a fast video and the other one slow. These
were used to analyse the performance of our proposed method
with the Laplacian distribution method(LDM) in [11]. The
experimental results have shown that our proposed
method(PRO) outperformed LDM in all respect.

International Journal of Computer Trends and Technology (IJCTT) – volume 4 Issue 8– August 2013

ISSN: 2231-2803 Page 2555

Fig. 3 (a) 2 original frames each of videos original, traffic,
and salesman respectively (b) Their corresponding ground
truth values (c) Output frames of PRO and (d) Output frames
of LDM.

The methods were compared based on the following

E. Computational Time Requirement
All the programs were implemented in Matlab 7.6 on a
Intel(R) Core(TM), 1.7GHz, 6 GB RAM with Windows 7
operating system. The image sequences of videos original and
salesman are of 514 ×374 and 324 ×206 for traffic video

PSNR is generally used to analyse quality of image, sound
and video files in dB (decibels). PSNR calculation of two
images, one original and an altered image, describes how far
two images are equal.



of frames
Traffic 120 41.9019 65.4733
Salesman 50 48.3807 81.5394
Original 50 98.5458 115.9821


Traffic Frame
number 94
35.6214 30.6709
36.5223 32.9560
Original Frame
number 20
43.9865 33.8821
number 40
45.0894 38.1354
Salesman Frame
number 3
41.7218 36.4311
number 10
42.6921 33.2669


In this article, a novel moving object detection method was
proposed. Literature surveys on various moving object
detection techniques were done. The proposed method deals
with illumination changes in the environment efficiently than
other methods. The use of canny edge detector helps in
detecting edges in any environmental conditions. The use of
segmentation in spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal
direction help in giving better results. The threshold
parameters were chosen on a trial and error basis. The
proposed scheme gave better accuracy and is faster than the
other methods.
Our future work will be focused on an algorithm that can
deal with dynamic backgrounds which cannot be dealt
efficiently by the proposed method.

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