A Hybrid Approach To Real-Time Multi-Object Tracking

Multi-Object Tracking, also known as Multi-Target Tracking, is a significant area of computer vision that has many uses in a variety of settings. The development of deep learning, which has encouraged researchers to propose more and more work in this direction, has significantly impacted the scientific advancement around the study of tracking as well as many other domains related to computer vision. In fact, all of the solutions that are currently state-of-the-art in the literature and in the tracking industry, are built on top of deep learning methodologies that produce exceptionally good results. Deep learning is enabled thanks to the ever more powerful technology researchers can use to handle the significant computational resources demanded by these models. However, when real-time is a main requirement, developing a tracking system without being constrained by expensive hardware support with enormous computational resources is necessary to widen tracking applications in real-world contexts. To this end, a compromise is to combine powerful deep strategies with more traditional approaches to favor considerably lower processing solutions at the cost of less accurate tracking results even though suitable for real-time domains. Indeed, the present work goes in that direction, proposing a hybrid strategy for real-time multi-target tracking that combines effectively a classical optical flow algorithm with a deep learning architecture, targeted to a human-crowd tracking system exhibiting a desirable trade-off between performance in tracking precision and computational costs. The developed architecture was experimented with different settings, and yielded a MOTA of 0.608 out of the compared state-of-the-art 0.549 results, and about half the running time when introducing the optical flow phase, achieving almost the same performance in terms of accuracy.


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