Adaptive support weight algorithms represent the state-of-the-art in local stereo matching. Their limitation is a high computational demand, which makes them unattractive for many (real-time) applications. To our knowledge, the algorithm proposed in this paper is the first local method which is both fast (real-time) and produces results comparable to global algorithms. A key insight is that the aggregation step of adaptive support weight algorithms is equivalent to smoothing the stereo cost volume with an edge-preserving filter. From this perspective, the original adaptive support weight algorithm  applies bilateral filtering on cost volume slices, and the reason for its poor computational behavior is that bilateral filtering is a relatively slow process. We suggest to use the recently proposed guided filter  to overcome this limitation. Analogously to the bilateral filter, this filter has edgepreserving properties, but can be implemented in a very fast way, which makes our stereo algorithm independent of the size of the match window. The GPU implementation of our stereo algorithm can process stereo images with a resolution of 640 × 480 pixels and a disparity range of 26 pixels at 25 fps. According to the Middlebury on-line ranking, our algorithm achieves rank 14 out of over 100 submissions and is not only the best performing local stereo matching method, but also the best performing real-time method.
A. Hosni, M. Bleyer, C. Rhemann, M. Gelautz, C. Rother: "Real-time Local Stereo Matching Using Guided Image Filtering"; Talk: IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME), Barcelona, Spain; 07-11-2011 - 07-15-2011; in: "Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME 2011)", (2011), 1 - 6.
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