Salient object detection using content-sensitive hypergraph representation and partitioning

Zhen LIANG, Zheru CHI, Hong FU, Dagan FENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


As an important problem in image understanding, salient object detection is essential for image classification, object recognition, as well as image retrieval. In this paper, we propose a new approach to detect salient objects from an image by using content-sensitive hypergraph representation and partitioning. Firstly, a polygonal potential Region-Of-Interest (p-ROI) is extracted through analyzing the edge distribution in an image. Secondly, the image is represented by a content-sensitive hypergraph. Instead of using fixed features and parameters for all the images, we propose a new content-sensitive method for feature selection and hypergraph construction. In this method, the most discriminant color channel which maximizes the difference between p-ROI and the background is selected for each image. Also the number of neighbors in hyperedges is adjusted automatically according to the image content. Finally, an incremental hypergraph partitioning is utilized to generate the candidate regions for the final salient object detection, in which all the candidate regions are evaluated by p-ROI and the best match one will be the selected as final salient object. Our approach has been extensively evaluated on a large benchmark image database. Experimental results show that our approach can not only achieve considerable improvement in terms of commonly adopted performance measures in salient object detection, but also provide more precise object boundaries which is desirable for further image processing and understanding. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3886-3901
JournalPattern Recognition
Issue number11
Early online date01 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


Liang, Z., Chi, Z., Fu, H., & Feng, D. (2012). Salient object detection using content-sensitive hypergraph representation and partitioning. Pattern Recognition, 45(11), 3886-3901. doi: 10.1016/j.patcog.2012.04.017


  • Salient object detection
  • Hypergraph representation
  • Incremental hypergraph partitioning
  • Discriminant color channel selection
  • Potential Region-Of-Interest (p-ROI) extraction


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