Bayesian crack detection in ultra high resolution multimodal images of paintings

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The preservation of our cultural heritage is of paramount importance. Thanks to recent developments in digital acquisition techniques, powerful image analysis algorithms are developed which can be useful non-invasive tools to assist in the restoration and preservation of art. In this paper we propose a semi-supervised crack detection method that can be used for high-dimensional acquisitions of paintings coming from different modalities. Our dataset consists of a recently acquired collection of images of the Ghent Altarpiece (1432), one of Northern Europe's most important art masterpieces. Our goal is to build a classifier that is able to discern crack pixels from the background consisting of non-crack pixels, making optimal use of the information that is provided by each modality. To accomplish this we employ a recently developed non-parametric Bayesian classifier, that uses tensor factorizations to characterize any conditional probability. A prior is placed on the parameters of the factorization such that every possible interaction between predictors is allowed while still identifying a sparse subset among these predictors. The proposed Bayesian classifier, which we will refer to as conditional Bayesian tensor factorization or CBTF, is assessed by visually comparing classification results with the Random Forest (RF) algorithm. © 2013 IEEE.






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Cornelis, B, Y Yang, JT Vogelstein, A Dooms, I Daubechies and D Dunson (2013). Bayesian crack detection in ultra high resolution multimodal images of paintings. 2013 18th International Conference on Digital Signal Processing, DSP 2013. 10.1109/ICDSP.2013.6622710 Retrieved from

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Ingrid Daubechies

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering

David B. Dunson

Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Statistical Science

My research focuses on developing new tools for probabilistic learning from complex data - methods development is directly motivated by challenging applications in ecology/biodiversity, neuroscience, environmental health, criminal justice/fairness, and more.  We seek to develop new modeling frameworks, algorithms and corresponding code that can be used routinely by scientists and decision makers.  We are also interested in new inference framework and in studying theoretical properties of methods we develop.  

Some highlight application areas: 
(1) Modeling of biological communities and biodiversity - we are considering global data on fungi, insects, birds and animals including DNA sequences, images, audio, etc.  Data contain large numbers of species unknown to science and we would like to learn about these new species, community network structure, and the impact of environmental change and climate.

(2) Brain connectomics - based on high resolution imaging data of the human brain, we are seeking to developing new statistical and machine learning models for relating brain networks to human traits and diseases.

(3) Environmental health & mixtures - we are building tools for relating chemical and other exposures (air pollution etc) to human health outcomes, accounting for spatial dependence in both exposures and disease.  This includes an emphasis on infectious disease modeling, such as COVID-19.

Some statistical areas that play a prominent role in our methods development include models for low-dimensional structure in data (latent factors, clustering, geometric and manifold learning), flexible/nonparametric models (neural networks, Gaussian/spatial processes, other stochastic processes), Bayesian inference frameworks, efficient sampling and analytic approximation algorithms, and models for "object data" (trees, networks, images, spatial processes, etc).

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