System and method for model adaptation

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First Claim
1. A method for adapting a matching model of an object comprising the following steps:
 (a) providing an electronic image of the object;
(b) providing a matching model of the object, the matching model comprising a plurality of model levels comprising a plurality of points and optionally a plurality of directions;
(c) determining a pose of the object in said electronic image by using a matching approach that uses said matching model, wherein step (c) includes;
(c1) creating an image pyramid of said electronic image, the image pyramid consisting of a plurality of image levels,(c2) determining the pose of the object on a first image level of the image pyramid with a lower resolution by using a first model level that corresponds to the first image level,(c3) refining the pose of the object on a second image level of the image pyramid with a higher resolution by using a second model level that corresponds to the second image level;
(d) transforming the matching model according to said pose, yielding a transformed model;
(e) determining for at least one point of said transformed model a corresponding point in said electronic image; and
(f) adapting the matching model according to the at least one determined corresponding point.
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Abstract
A method for adapting a matching model of an object comprising the step of providing an electronic image of the object; providing a matching model of the object, the matching model consisting of a plurality of points; determining a pose of the object in said electronic image by using a matching approach that uses said matching model; transforming the matching model according to said pose, yielding a transformed model; determining for at least one point of said transformed model a corresponding point in said electronic image; and adapting the matching model according to the at least one determined corresponding point.
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Methods for finding and characterizing a deformed pattern in an image  
Patent #
US 7,190,834 B2
Filed 07/22/2003

Current Assignee
Cognex Technology Investment Corporation

Sponsoring Entity
Cognex Technology Investment Corporation

Method for fast, robust, multidimensional pattern recognition  
Patent #
US 7,016,539 B1
Filed 07/13/1998

Current Assignee
Cognex Technology Investment Corporation

Sponsoring Entity
Cognex Corporation

Fast highaccuracy multidimensional pattern inspection  
Patent #
US 6,850,646 B1
Filed 11/10/2003

Current Assignee
Cognex Corporation

Sponsoring Entity
Cognex Corporation

Three dimensional (3D) modeling of a complex control object  
Patent #
US 9,646,201 B1
Filed 06/05/2015

Current Assignee
Lmi Liquidating Co. LLC

Sponsoring Entity
Leap Motion Incorporated

IMAGE PROCESSING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR DETECTING IMAGE OF OBJECT TO BE DETECTED FROM INPUT DATA  
Patent #
US 20170132451A1
Filed 11/04/2016

Current Assignee
Fanuc Corporation

Sponsoring Entity
Fanuc Corporation

19 Claims
 1. A method for adapting a matching model of an object comprising the following steps:
(a) providing an electronic image of the object; (b) providing a matching model of the object, the matching model comprising a plurality of model levels comprising a plurality of points and optionally a plurality of directions; (c) determining a pose of the object in said electronic image by using a matching approach that uses said matching model, wherein step (c) includes; (c1) creating an image pyramid of said electronic image, the image pyramid consisting of a plurality of image levels, (c2) determining the pose of the object on a first image level of the image pyramid with a lower resolution by using a first model level that corresponds to the first image level, (c3) refining the pose of the object on a second image level of the image pyramid with a higher resolution by using a second model level that corresponds to the second image level; (d) transforming the matching model according to said pose, yielding a transformed model; (e) determining for at least one point of said transformed model a corresponding point in said electronic image; and (f) adapting the matching model according to the at least one determined corresponding point.  View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
1 Specification
This application claims benefit from European Application No. 17172079.0, which was filed on May 19, 2017, the entirety of said patent application is incorporated herein by reference.
This invention relates generally to machine vision systems, and more particularly, to visual recognition of objects in images and to visual tracking of objects in image sequences.
The fast, robust, and accurate localization of a given 2D object template in images is the natural prerequisite for numerous computer vision and particularly machine vision applications. For example, for pick and place applications, an object recognition method must determine the location of the object that is imaged. Given its location in conjunction with the known geometry of the imaging device, a pose of the object can be calculated by methods that are well known in the art. Given this pose, a robot can grasp the object from, e.g., a conveyor belt. In the visual tracking of objects, an object recognition method must determine the location of an object in a sequence of images. For example, in imagebased visual servo control, the object location can be used to control the robot motion. In traffic monitoring, an object recognition method must detect traffic participants such as cars or pedestrians in a video stream or image sequences.
Several methods have been proposed in the art to determine the position of an object in an image. Most of the methods compare a similarity between a set of possible matching model poses and the image. Positions that exceed a threshold and are local maxima with respect to this similarity measure are chosen as the location of the object.
Depending on the similarity measure that is used, a certain invariance against adverse imaging conditions is achieved. For instance, with normalized correlation as the similarity measure, invariance against linear gray value changes between the model image and the search image is achieved.
Many methods in the art represent the 2D object template by a matching model that consists of a plurality of model points, e.g. approaches that are based on ChamferMatching (Borgefors, 1988), approaches that are based on the Hausdorff Distance (Rucklidge, 1997, Kwon et al. 2001), or approaches that are based on geometric hashing (Lamdan and Schwartz, 1990). The model points may either be a sparse set of feature points such as edges or corner points, or a dense set of points that cover the 2D object template. The similarity between a possible matching model pose and the image is determined through the similarity of a subset of the matching model points and the image. Other methods use model points and directions for matching a model to an image. Directions can be represented, for example, by direction vectors or angles. Common examples of object recognition methods in the art that use directions are approaches that are based on the generalized Hough transform (Ballard, 1981, Ulrich et al. 2003) or approaches that are based modifications of the HausdorffDistance (Olson and Huttenlocher, 1997). Furthermore, there are approaches that use the dot product of the normalized directions of image and model feature as similarity measure, which is invariant against partial occlusion, clutter, and nonlinear contrast changes (EP 1193642, EP 2081133, EP 1394727, EP 2048599). Other approaches use angles for matching, where the model points may further include other attributes, such as an individual perpoint weight (e.g. U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,850,646, 7,190,834, 7,016,539).
Typically, an exhaustive search over all pose parameters is computationally very expensive and prohibitive for most realtime applications. Most of the prior art methods overcome this speed limitation by building an image pyramid from both the model and the search image (see e.g., Tanimoto (1981) or Brown (1992)). Then, the similarity measure is evaluated for the full search range only at the highest pyramid level. At lower levels, only promising match candidates are tracked until the lowest pyramid level is reached.
A further way to speed up the search is to restrict the possible transformations the model may undergo in the search image. An affine transformation that maps input points (x, y)^{T }to output points (x′, y′)^{T }can be described in the geometrically meaningful parameterization
The parameters describe a scaling of the original x and y axes by the different scaling factors s_{x }and s_{y}, a skew transformation of the y axis with respect to the x axis, i.e., a rotation of the y axis by an angle θ, while the x axis is kept fixed, a rotation of both axes by an angle φ, and finally a translation by a vector (t_{x},t_{y})^{T}. Typically, an object recognition system evaluates these parameters only for a reduced subset, e.g., only translation and rotation. Furthermore, the parameters are restricted to a certain fixed range, e.g., a reduced rotation range. This reduces the space of possible poses that an object recognition system must check on the highest pyramid level and hence speeds up the search. In some situations, the object that must be found is transformed according to a more general transformation than an affine transformation or a subset thereof. Two such transformations are a perspective transformation or a nonlinear deformation.
The stateoftheart methods for object recognition assume a constant model for object localization. Although some approaches allow a certain variation of the model points (see, e.g., Cootes (1995)), the model is not adapted after the object localization in the search image. This has several shortcomings when localizing an object that may change its appearance. Two common computer vision and machine vision applications are visual tracking, where an object is to be localized throughout a sequence of images, and the localization of deformable objects. An adaptation of the model after the object is successfully localized improves the localization quality in future images.
In visual tracking scenarios, most objects are 3D and their movement and rotation throughout the 3D world is generally not an affine transformation, which most of the 2d object recognition approaches assume. It is an open question how to adapt a pointbased matching model to a localized object to a more general transformation than an affine transformation or a subset thereof.
The aim of the presented invention is to provide a general approach to adapt a pointbased matching model to ensure a robust recognition even if the object changes its appearance.
The invention is specified in the claims. It is directed to methods and apparatuses for adapting a matching model that can be used to determine the pose of an object in an image, where the adaptation is based on the appearance of the object in an image. The invention may also relate to a system or apparatus performing and/or implementing the described methods.
The present invention provides a system and method for finding objects in electronic images using matching models of the objects and for adapting the matching models based on the difference between the original matching model and the detection result in the image. Such a method can, for example, be used to track an object over multiple frames of a video sequence where the appearance of the object can change over time. Such changes in appearance can have multiple reasons, such as deformations of the object, lighting changes, viewpoint changes and others. Due to those changes, while the original matching model might be a good representation of the object in the first frame, it might not be for later frames. Since the change of the object'"'"'s appearance is not always known beforehand, the user of the method might not be able to provide a matching model that represents the appearance of the target over all frames. Instead, only the appearance in the first frame might be given. The present invention provides a way of dynamically adjusting the matching model based on the observations in the previous frames. This allows the method to find the object in later frames, even if its appearance has changed.
The method preferably comprises four main phases: the matching phase, the transformation phase, the correspondence search phase, and the adaptation phase.
In the matching phase, given the matching model of an object that consists of a plurality of points and an electronic image that contains the object, the pose of the object in the electronic image is determined using the matching model. In the transformation phase, the matching model is transformed using the determined pose, yielding a transformed model. In the correspondence search phase, for at least one point of said transformed model, a corresponding point in the electronic image is determined. In the adaptation phase, the matching model is adapted according to at least one determined corresponding points.
According to a first aspect, the invention provides a method as defined in claim 1.
Preferably, in the adaptation phase, the position of a plurality of points of the matching model is adapted.
Preferably, in the matching phase, a plurality of points of the matching model is used to determine the pose of the object.
In a further preferred embodiment, the features of which may optionally be combined with the features of the abovementioned first aspect, the matching model consists of a plurality of points and directions and the adaptation of the matching model in the adaptation phase comprises adapting the position of a plurality of points and directions of the matching model. In a preferred embodiment, said directions are represented by direction vectors. In a further preferred embodiment, the directions are represented by angles. In alternative embodiments, the directions can be represented by bitmaps of discretized direction or angle ranges, or by other means.
In a further preferred embodiment, the features of which may optionally be combined with the features of the abovementioned first aspect and the abovementioned preferred embodiment, in the matching phase, a plurality of points and directions of the matching model is used to determine the pose of the object, regardless of the representation of the directions.
When representing the directions by direction vectors, it is further preferred that in the matching phase, a plurality of points and direction vectors of the matching model are used and the dot product of said direction vectors are computed to determine the pose of the object.
When adapting the position of a plurality of points of the matching model in the adaptation phase, it is preferred to set the position of a plurality of model points of the matching model to the position of the corresponding points. In an alternative embodiment, the position of a plurality of model points of the matching model can be set to a position that is a function of the position of the point of the matching model and of the corresponding point.
When the matching model consists of a plurality of points and directions and the adaptation of the matching model in the adaptation phase comprises adapting the position of a plurality of points and directions of the matching model, it is further preferred that when adapting the position of a plurality of points and directions of the matching model, the position and direction of a plurality of model points of the matching model are set to the position and direction of the corresponding points. In an alternative embodiment, the position and direction of a plurality of model points of the matching model are set to a position and a direction that are functions of the position and direction of the points of the matching model and of the position and direction of the corresponding points.
In another preferred embodiment, the features of which may optionally be combined with the features of the abovementioned first aspect and the abovementioned preferred embodiments, the matching phase, the transformation phase, the correspondence search phase, and the adaptation phase are performed in an iterative manner with at least two iterations and with the resulting adapted matching model from the adaptation phase acting as the matching model of the next iteration.
In another preferred embodiment, the features of which may optionally be combined with the features of the abovementioned first aspect and the abovementioned preferred embodiments, the matching model of the object consists of a plurality of model levels and a model level consisting of a plurality of points; in the matching phase, an image pyramid of the electronic image is created, the image pyramid consisting of a plurality of image levels; the pose of the object on a pyramid level is determined with a lower resolution by using the model level that corresponds to the pyramid level; the pose of the object on a pyramid level is refined with a higher resolution by using the model level that corresponds to the pyramid level; and the transformation phase, the correspondence search phase and the adaptation phase are performed for each pyramid and model level, yielding an adapted matching model on each level.
In another preferred embodiment, the features of which may optionally be combined with the features of the abovementioned first aspect and the abovementioned preferred embodiments, the matching model of the object consists of a plurality of model levels and a model level consisting of a plurality of points; in the matching phase, an image pyramid of the electronic image is created, the image pyramid consisting of a plurality of image levels; the pose of the object on a pyramid level is determined with a lower resolution by using the model level that corresponds to the pyramid level; the pose of the object on a pyramid level is refined with a higher resolution by using the model level that corresponds to the pyramid level; and the transformation phase, the correspondence search phase and the adaptation phase are performed on a pyramid level with a higher resolution yielding adaptations on the model level with said higher resolution and wherein the following additional step is performed: propagating the adaptations on the model level with said higher resolution to the model levels with lower resolutions, yielding an adapted matching model on each level.
In another preferred embodiment, the features of which may optionally be combined with the features of the abovementioned first aspect and the abovementioned preferred embodiments, based on either of the embodiments described above, the correspondence search phase comprises searching for a corresponding point in the electronic image within a neighborhood of the at least one point of the transformed model.
In another preferred embodiment, the features of which may optionally be combined with the features of the abovementioned first aspect and the abovementioned preferred embodiments, based on either of the embodiments described above, the correspondence search phase comprises searching for a corresponding point in the electronic image within a neighborhood of the at least one point of the transformed model wherein the neighborhood is determined by the direction of said point.
In another preferred embodiment, the features of which may optionally be combined with the features of the abovementioned first aspect and the abovementioned preferred embodiments, the adaptation phase comprises adapting the matching model according to a subset of the determined corresponding points.
In another preferred embodiment, the features of which may optionally be combined with the features of the abovementioned first aspect and the abovementioned preferred embodiments, the matching phase, the transformation phase, the correspondence search phase, and the adaptation phase are performed in an iterative manner with at least two iterations and where in the adaptation phase, the matching model is adapted according to at least one determined corresponding point in the at least one previous or current iteration, and with the resulting adapted matching model from the adaptation phase acting as the input matching model in the next iteration.
The invention will be more fully understood from the following detailed description, in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein:
All of the following data is supposed to be available in electronic form, preferably digital. The methods and algorithms described are considered to be in electronic form and computer implemented.
The present invention is directed to methods and apparatuses for adapting a matching model that can be used to determine the pose of an object in an image, where the adaptation is based on the appearance of the object in an image.
The invention assumes that a matching model (see
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the matching model consists of a plurality of model points (101). The model points can, for example, describe the object'"'"'s boundary or gray value edges or color edges of the texture or of the structure on the object. The edges are typically computed from a model image of the object, in which gray value or color edges are extracted. For this, different edge extraction methods can be used (see (Steger et al., 2007, Chapter 3.7), for example). In other applications, the model points are extracted from a CAD model of the object. In
Furthermore, the invention assumes that an electronic image (201) of the object is provided. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the image is acquired with a camera.
In the next step of the invention, the matching model is transformed according to the pose that was returned by the matching approach (see
In the next step of the invention, for a point (302) of the transformed model, a corresponding point (404) in the image (201) is determined. A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in
In a preferred embodiment, for all points in the transformed model, a corresponding point in the image is searched. In an alternative embodiment, the search is restricted to a subset of points in the transformed model. As a result of this step, a plurality of corresponding points is available. For some points of the transformed model, no corresponding point might be available because the search was restricted to a subset of points in the transformed model or because no corresponding point could be found in the neighborhood region, e.g., because no point with an edge amplitude that exceeds a certain threshold was found or because no point with a similarity that exceeds a certain threshold was found. In the illustrated example application of
In the final step of the invention, the matching model is adapted according to the determined corresponding points. For this, the corresponding points are transformed back to the coordinate system of the matching model by applying the inverse transformation of the transformation that was applied to the matching model to obtain the transformed model. The backtransformed corresponding points are visualized in
In an alternative embodiment of the invention, only a subset of points of the matching model and a subset of corresponding points are used to compute the position of the points in the adapted matching model. For example, the subset of points of the matching model and the subset of the corresponding points can be used to calculate the parameters of a warping function, where the input of the warping function is the position of a point of the matching model and the output is the position of that point in the adapted matching model. The warping function can be used to compute the position of all or of a subset of points in the adapted matching model.
In another preferred embodiment of the invention, the matching model consists of a plurality of model points (801) and directions (802). The directions can be represented by direction vectors, normalized direction vectors, or angles, for example. The directions are typically computed from a model image of the object, in which gray value or color edges are extracted. The direction is then obtained from the edge or gradient direction of the extracted edges. For this, different edge extraction methods can be used that allow to directly compute the edge or gradient direction (see (Steger et al., 2007, Chapter 3.7), for example). Alternatively, edge extraction methods can be used that do not allow such a computation. In this case, the edge or gradient direction can be calculated in a postprocessing step by linking neighboring edge points. The linked edge points define the edge direction. In other applications, the model points are extracted from a CAD model of the object. In this case, the direction can be computed from the CAD model, as well. For this, the direction is obtained from the direction of the contours that are stored in the CAD model. In the example application that is illustrated in
In another preferred embodiment of the invention, the matching approach that is used to determine the pose of the object (301) in the image (201) uses the model points and the directions for matching. There are several matching approaches available that are able to determine the pose of an object in an image based on a matching model that consists of points and directions (Steger et al., 2007, Chapter 3.11.5). Some selected examples are the generalized Hough transform (Ballard, 1981; Ulrich, 2003), a modification of the Hausdorff distance that allows to take directions into account (Olson and Huttenlocher, 1997), approaches that are based on the dot product of the direction vectors (EP 1193642, EP 1394727, EP 2081133, EP 2048599) and approaches that use angles for matching as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,850,646, 7,190,834, and 7,016,539. If the matching was successful, the matching approach returns the pose of the object in the image.
In the next step of the invention, the matching model, which contains points and directions, is transformed according to the pose that was returned by the matching approach (see
In the next step of the invention, for a point (1001) of the transformed model, which contains points and directions, a corresponding point in the image (201) is determined. In one embodiment of the invention, the determination of the corresponding point is performed as described above and as illustrated in
In an alternative embodiment, which is illustrated in
The search for the corresponding point (1004) within the neighborhood region (1003) is performed by using one of the methods described above. As a result, for a point (1001) in the transformed model, the corresponding point (1004) is obtained. If the matching model contains points and directions, for a point (1001) and its direction (1002), the corresponding point (1004) and its direction (1005) is obtained.
In another preferred embodiment, for all points and directions in the transformed model, a corresponding point and direction in the image is searched. In an alternative embodiment, the search is restricted to a subset of points in the transformed model. As a result of this step, a plurality of corresponding points and directions is available. For some points of the transformed model, no corresponding point might be available because the search was restricted to a subset of points in the transformed model or because no corresponding point could be found in the neighborhood region, e.g., because no point with an edge amplitude that exceeds a certain threshold was found or because no point with a similarity that exceeds a certain threshold was found. If the model contains directions, the direction of the transformed model point and the direction of a potential corresponding point in the image can be compared, for example. If they differ too much, the potential corresponding point is rejected and not accepted as a corresponding point. In the illustrated example application of
In the final step of the invention, the matching model, which contains points and directions, is adapted according to the determined corresponding points and directions. For this, the corresponding points and directions are transformed back to the coordinate system of the matching model by applying the inverse transformation of the transformation that was applied to the matching model to obtain the transformed model. The backtransformed corresponding points (e.g., (1004)) and directions (e.g., (1005)) are visualized in
In another preferred embodiment of the invention, the points in the model are set to a position that is a function of the position of one or more points of the matching model and of the position of one or more (backtransformed) corresponding points. Furthermore, the directions in the model are set to a direction that is a function of the directions of one or more points of the matching model and of the directions of one or more (backtransformed) corresponding points. The resulting points (e.g. (1301)) and directions (e.g. (1302)) in the adapted matching model are visualized in
In an alternative embodiment of the invention, only a subset of points and directions of the matching model and a subset of corresponding points and directions are used to compute the position and direction of the points in the adapted matching model. For example, the subset of points and directions of the matching model and the subset of the corresponding points and directions can be used to calculate the parameters of two warping function, one for the position and one for the direction. The input of the first warping function is the position of a point of the matching model and the output is the position of that point in the adapted matching model. The input of the second warping function is the direction of a point of the matching model and the output is the direction of that point in the adapted matching model. Alternatively, a single function can be used where the input of the function is the position and direction of a point of the matching model and the output is the position and direction of that point in the adapted matching model. The warping functions can be used to compute the position and direction of all or of a subset of points in the adapted matching model.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the adapted matching model is used for determining the pose of the object in a subsequent image. The adapted matching model might also act as the input matching model in a second iteration of the model adaptation. Hence, in one embodiment, the matching model is adapted again based on the subsequent image and by using one of the methods described above. In an alternative embodiment, the matching model is not adapted in every image, in which the pose of the object is determined, but only in every second or third image and so forth. In another alternative embodiment, the model is adapted after a certain period of time has passed. In another alternative embodiment, the matching model is adapted if a certain criterion is fulfilled, e.g., if the matching approach returns a quality measure for the match and the quality measure falls below a certain threshold.
In another alternative embodiment of the invention, the matching approach uses a multiresolution method for speeding up the search for the object in the image. One wellknown realization of a multiresolution method is to create an image pyramid of the input image, the image pyramid consisting of a plurality of image levels with decreasing image resolutions on higher levels. In this case, the matching model consists of a plurality of model levels and each model level consists of a plurality of point or of a plurality of points and directions. Higher model levels represent the object in a lower resolution. Determining the pose of the object is typically performed by performing the matching on a higher pyramid level by using the model level that corresponds to the resolution of the image level, yielding poses of matching candidates. The poses of the matching candidates are then refined on lower pyramid levels (of higher resolution) by using the model level that corresponds to the resolution of the lower image level. In one embodiment of the invention, the model adaptation is performed on each pyramid level, and hence for each model level, separately. Therefore, the methods for adapting a model, which are described above, are applied to each model level. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the model adaptation, as it is described above, is only performed on the lowest pyramid level (of highest resolution). As the result, only the model level with highest resolution is adapted. Therefore, the adaptation of the model level with highest resolution is propagated to model levels with lower resolutions in a subsequent step. For the propagation of model adaptation to different resolution levels, interpolation functions can be used, as described in EP 2081133, for example.
In some applications, it is desirable to apply a model adaptation only if it is consistent over a plurality of subsequent images. This increases the robustness to noise and to outliers in the correspondences. Therefore, in an alternative embodiment of the invention, the adapted matching model acts as the input matching model in a plurality of subsequent iterations of the model adaptation. However, the matching model is adapted only if the potential adaptations are consistent over a plurality of images. For example, a model point is only shifted to the right if the corresponding point of the model point was found shifted to the right in at least two consecutive images.
While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, such illustration and description are to be considered illustrative or exemplary and not restrictive. It will be understood that changes and modifications may be made by those of ordinary skill within the scope of the following claims. In particular, the present invention covers further embodiments with any combination of features from different embodiments described above and below. In other words, while several particular embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, various modifications to the preferred embodiments can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the above description is not intended to limit the invention except as indicated in the following claims.
Furthermore, in the claims the word “comprising” does not exclude other elements or steps, and the indefinite article “a” or “an” does not exclude a plurality. A single unit may fulfill the functions of several features recited in the claims. Any reference signs in the claims should not be construed as limiting the scope.
Patent Documents Cited in the Description
 EP 1193642: System and method for object recognition
 EP 1394727: Hierarchical componentbased object recognition
 EP 2081133: System and method for deformable object recognition
 EP 2048599: System and method for 3D object recognition
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,850,646: Fast highaccuracy multidimensional pattern inspection
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,190,834: Methods for finding and characterizing a deformed pattern in an image
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,016,539: Method for fast, robust, multidimensional pattern recognition
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