The Use of Force Histograms for Affine-Invariant Relative Position Description

Affine invariant descriptors have been widely used for recognition of objects regardless of their position, size and orientation in space.  Examples of color, texture and shape descriptors abound in the liter­ature.  However, many tasks in computer vision require looking not only at single objects or regions in images but also at their spatial rel­ationships.  In an earlier work, we showed that the relative position of two objects can be quantitatively described by a histogram of forces.  Here, we study how affine transformations affect this descriptor.  The position of an object with respect to another changes when the objects are affine transformed.  We analyze the link between (i) the applied affinity, (ii) the relative position before transformation (described through a force histogram), and (iii) the relative position after transformation.  We show that any two of these elements allow the third one to be recovered.  Moreover, it is possible to determine whether (or how well) two relative positions are actually related through an affine transformation.  If they are not, the affinity that best approximates the unknown transform­ation can be retrieved, and the quality of the approximation assessed.