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GMM Background Subtraction


Code to accompany my post on using Gaussian Mixture Modelling for the background subtraction computer vision task (the Stauffer-Grimson / Zivkovic way).

Tested on Rust 1.28 stable-x86_64-apple-darwin, rustc 1.28.0 (9634041f0 2018-07-30).


  • Fix the bug that somehow increases runtime of prediction performance benchmarks to infeasible durations while the actual time taken by individual iterations is minimal.
  • Maybe implement the improved heuristic proposed by Eric Thul
  Adaptive Background Mixture Models for Real-Time Tracking† 
  Eric Thul
  †By Chris Stauffer and W.E.L Grimson [4, 1] 
  March 30, 2007

Testing with example data

Using your own static video:

First, we need to cut up the mp4 frames into png images. Note that we take the first number of seconds with -t and downsample the fps with -r.

ffmpeg \
  -i ./example_data/traffic/traffic.mp4 \
  -t 20 \
  -r 10 \

The -tr argument sorts the test data by date modified in reverse (so oldest first).

Next, we can train/predict on frames of this dataset:

cargo run --release $(ls -tr ./example_data/traffic/*.png)

On the 'academic' examples

Downloaded from here:

cargo run --release $(ls ./example_data/HighwayI/*.png)
cargo run --release $(ls ./example_data/HighwayII/*.png)

These commands produce files named testimg_predicted_*.png in the working directory.

Combine predicted binary mask frames back into videos

The output images generated with the above commands can be combined into a video using:

ffmpeg -framerate 30 -i ./testimg_predicted_%4d.png -pix_fmt yuv420p segmentations.mp4

Note the -framerate argument.

The %4d wildcard expects leading-zero numbering like 0001, 0002, etc.

A note for MacOS: to make an .mp4 file compatible with macOS, add the -pix_fmt yuv420p flag.

Render two videos next to each other

See this StackExchange post.

ffmpeg \
  -i inputs.mp4 \
  -i segmentations.mp4 \
  -filter_complex '[0:v]pad=iw*2:ih[int];[int][1:v]overlay=W/2:0[vid]' \
  -map [vid] \
  -c:v libx264 \
  -crf 23 \
  -preset veryfast \

Performance benchmarking

  • Be sure to first kill all other programs on the system that may interfere
  • Note that we force Rayon to use only a single thread using an environment variable
RAYON_NUM_THREADS=1 cargo bench

To only run a subset of available benchmarks, use a substring of the relevant benchmark names:

RAYON_NUM_THREADS=1 cargo bench -- model_update


Computer vision: GMM-based background subtraction in Rust



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