Unsupervised object counting without object recognition
This paper addresses the problem of object counting, which is to estimate the number of objects of interest from an input observation. We formalize the problem as a posterior inference of the count by introducing a particular type of Gaussian mixture for the input observation, whose mixture indexes correspond to the count. Unlike existing approaches in image analysis, which typically perform explicit object detection using labeled training images, our approach does not need any labeled training data. Our idea is to use the stick-breaking process as a constraint to make it possible to interpret the mixture indexes as the count. We apply our method to the problem of counting vehicles in real-world web camera images and demonstrate that the accuracy and robustness of the proposed approach without any labeled training data are comparable to those of supervised alternatives.