Image Editing based Data Augmentation for Illumination-insensitive Background Subtraction

Dimitrios Sakkos, Edmond S. L. Ho*, Hubert P. H. Shum, Garry Elvin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: A core challenge in background subtraction (BGS) is handling videos with sudden illumination changes in consecutive frames. In our pilot study published in, Sakkos:SKIMA 2019, we tackle the problem from a data point-of-view using data augmentation. Our method performs data augmentation that not only creates endless data on the fly but also features semantic transformations of illumination which enhance the generalisation of the model. Design/methodology/approach: In our pilot study published in SKIMA 2019, the proposed framework successfully simulates flashes and shadows by applying the Euclidean distance transform over a binary mask generated randomly. In this paper, we further enhance the data augmentation framework by proposing new variations in image appearance both locally and globally. Findings: Experimental results demonstrate the contribution of the synthetics in the ability of the models to perform BGS even when significant illumination changes take place. Originality/value: Such data augmentation allows us to effectively train an illumination-invariant deep learning model for BGS. We further propose a post-processing method that removes noise from the output binary map of segmentation, resulting in a cleaner, more accurate segmentation map that can generalise to multiple scenes of different conditions. We show that it is possible to train deep learning models even with very limited training samples. The source code of the project is made publicly available at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-838
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Enterprise Information Management
Issue number3
Early online date17 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2023


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