Real-time GPU color-based segmentation of football players

Miguel Angel Montanes Laborda, Enrique F. Torres Moreno, Jesus Martinez del Rincon and Jose Elias Herrero Jaraba
Faculty of Computing, Information Systems & Mathematics, Kingston University, London, UK
Journal of Real-Time Image Processing (3 February 2011), pp. 1-13


   title={Real-time GPU color-based segmentation of football players},

   author={Monta{~n}{‘e}s Laborda, M.A. and Torres Moreno, E.F. and Mart{‘i}nez del Rinc{‘o}n, J. and Herrero Jaraba, J.E.},

   journal={Journal of Real-Time Image Processing},





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In this paper, we propose a multi-camera application capable of processing high resolution images and extracting features based on colors patterns over graphic processing units (GPU). The goal is to work in real time under the uncontrolled environment of a sport event like a football match. Since football players are composed for diverse and complex color patterns, a Gaussian Mixture Models (GMM) is applied as segmentation paradigm, in order to analyze sport live images and video. Optimization techniques have also been applied over the C++ implementation using profiling tools focused on high performance. Time consuming tasks were implemented over NVIDIA’s CUDA platform, and later restructured and enhanced, speeding up the whole process significantly. Our resulting code is around 4-11 times faster on a low cost GPU than a highly optimized C++ version on a central processing unit (CPU) over the same data. Real time has been obtained processing until 64 frames per second. An important conclusion derived from our study is the scalability of the application to the number of cores on the GPU.
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