A multi-frame optical flow spot tracker

Jizhou Li, Christopher Gilliam, Thierry Blu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate and robust spot tracking is a necessary tool for quantitative motion analysis in fluorescence microscopy images. Few trackers however consider the underlying dynamics present in biological systems. For example, the collective motion of cells often exhibits both fast dynamics, i.e. Brownian motion, and slow dynamics, i.e. time-invariant stationary motion. In this paper, we propose a novel, multi-frame, tracker that exploits this stationary motion. More precisely, we first estimate the stationary motion and then use it to guide the spot tracker. We obtain the stationary motion by adapting a recent optical flow algorithm that relates one image to another locally using an all-pass filter. We perform this operation over all the image frames simultaneously and estimate a single, stationary optical flow. We compare the proposed tracker with two existing techniques and show that our approach is more robust to high noise and varying structure. In addition, we also show initial experiments on real microscopy images.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, ICIP 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherIEEE Computer Society Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781479983391
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2015
EventIEEE International Conference on Image Processing, ICIP 2015 - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: 27 Sept 201530 Sept 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Image Processing, ICIP
ISSN (Print)1522-4880


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Image Processing, ICIP 2015
CityQuebec City

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.


  • all-pass filters
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • optical flow
  • Spot tracking
  • stationary motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Signal Processing


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