Hybrid model of clustering and kernel autoassociator for reliable vehicle type classification

Bailing Zhang*, Yifan Zhou, Hao Pan, Tammam Tillo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Automatic vehicle classification is an important area of research for intelligent transportation, traffic surveillance and security. A working image-based vehicle classification system is proposed in this paper. The first component vehicle detection is implemented by applying histogram of oriented gradient features and SVM classifier. The second component vehicle classification, which is the emphasis of this paper, is accomplished by a hybrid model composed of clustering and kernel autoassociator (KAA). The KAA model is a generalization of auto-associative networks by training to recall the inputs through kernel subspace. As an effective one-class classification strategy, KAA has been proposed to implement classification with rejection, showing balanced error-rejection trade-off. With a large number of training samples, however, the training of KAA becomes problematic due to the difficulties involved with directly creating the kernel matrix. As a solution, a hybrid model consisting of self-organizing map (SOM) and KAM has been proposed to first acquire prototypes and then construct the KAA model, which has been proven efficient in internet intrusion detection. The hybrid model is further studied in this paper, with several clustering algorithms compared, including k-mean clustering, SOM and Neural Gas. Experimental results using more than 2,500 images from four types of vehicles (bus, light truck, car and van) demonstrated the effectiveness of the hybrid model. The proposed scheme offers a performance of accuracy over 95 % with a rejection rate 8 % and reliability over 98 % with a rejection rate of 20 %. This exhibits promising potentials for real-world applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-450
Number of pages14
JournalMachine Vision and Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Kernel autoassociator
  • Rejection option
  • Vehicle detection
  • Vehicle type classification


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