Learning Membership Functions in a Function-Based Object Recognition System

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Abstract

Functionality-based recognition systems recognize objects at the category level by reasoning about how well the objects support the expected function. Such systems naturally associate a ``measure of goodness'' or ``membership value'' with a recognized object. This measure of goodness is the result of combining individual measures, or membership values, from potentially many primitive evaluations of different properties of the object's shape. A membership function is used to compute the membership value when evaluating a primitive of a particular physical property of an object. In previous versions of a recognition system known as Gruff, the membership function for each of the primitive evaluations was hand-crafted by the system designer. In this paper, we provide a learning component for the Gruff system, called Omlet, that automatically learns membership functions given a set of example objects labeled with their desired category measure. The learning algorithm is generally applicable to any problem in which low-level membership values are combined through an and-or tree structure to give a final overall membership value.

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