In this paper, a spatiotemporal neural network for partially occluded object recognition is presented. The system consists of two major components: a feature extraction process and a spatiotemporal modular neural network. The former is made up of a sequence of preprocessing techniques including thresholding, boundary extraction, Gaussian filtering, and a splitand-merge algorithm to generate features that will represent the objects to be recognized. These acquired features are invariant to rotation, translation, and scaling and can serve as input to the spatiotemporal network that utilizes the concept of tap delay to account for spatial correlation between consecutive input features. A shape perceiver is designed into the network to extract continued parts of an object as well as to enable the inclusion of each object's unique characteristics into the system. Traditional neural network approaches for recognizing partially occluded objects have encountered significant problems because of the incomplete boundaries of the objects. In our approach, by creatively installing tap delays, the system can escape this limitation. Experimental results show that the proposed system can produce satisfactory results in efficiently and effectively recognizing partially occluded objects. Furthermore, intrinsic to this system is the ease by which it can be realized through parallel implementation, thus minimizing the tremendous time spent in matching object contours stored in a model database, as is the case in conventional recognition systems.
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