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ComputerVisionAidedPotteryClassificationand

Reconstruction
SanjayGoel,PriyankSingh,etal
JaypeeInstituteofInformationTechnologyUniversity,India

Abstract:
Archaeologyisyettobeimpactedbytheinfluenceofcomputerbasedautomationtools.Archaeologists
lack the support of tools, which would enable them to visualize pottery in 3D and also classify it. This
paperpresentsthefeaturesandinnerworkingsofacomputervisionbasedtoolthataidsarchaeologists
in pottery classification and reconstruction. By utilizing an image of a pots profile, the tool provides
several functionalities, such as classification of complete and partial profiles with respect to a user
defined database, construction of 3D models of pots, extension of partial profiles by appending user
definedsplinesandcollaborativepotteryvisualizationoveraLocalAreaNetwork.

1.Introduction
Archaeology is yet to be fully influenced by the power and wide application of computer based
automationtools.Hence,archaeologistslackthesupportofautomatedtoolsforimportanttaskssuchas
pottery classification. Pottery classification is based upon several parameters such as the dimensions,
shape and material of the pot. Archaeologists use their experience and expertise to weigh these
parametersandclassifypotteryforarchivingandretrieval.Thetoolpresentedinthispapersupplements
theknowledgeofthearchaeologistandenablesfasterandinsomecases,moreaccurate profilebased
classificationofpottery.

Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology have presented a system that performs virtual
reconstruction of complete and broken vessel [1]. It utilizes a silhouette based method for complete
vesselsandaprofilebasedmethodforthebrokenones.Methodsofacquiring3Ddatafromfragments
have been discussed at great length but not enough emphasis has been laid on the algorithms and
techniquesutilizedinvirtualreconstruction.Anaccuracyof50%hasbeenreportedforprofileextraction
and subsequent matching. The authors two related publications [10 and 11] utilize in an automated
fashion, three dimensional data acquired from actual pottery fragments. They utilize Hough inspired
methodstocomputetheaxisofrotationandthisuseofinformationfromthreedimensionaldataresults
in very accurate reconstructions. This accuracy however, comes with a tradeoff in time, at the data
acquisition and reconstruction phases. Our approach is meant to supplement the workings of an
archaeologistbyprovidingthemwithquick,interactiveandreasonablyaccuratevirtualreconstructions
ofpotsusingtwodimensionalpotprofiledataasinput.Afurtheradvantageofourapproachisthatit
does not require multiple fragments and enables quick reconstruction from a single newly excavated
potteryfragmentaswellasfromhistoricdrawingswhosecorrespondingpotteryfragmentsmaynotbe
available for analysis. A complementary approach to vessel reconstruction is by the use of drawing
systems[2]whichallowthealterationofpotprofilesviathemodificationandadditionofuserdefined
splines. The presented system utilizes mesh models of the fragment taken from a 3D scanner. The
authors have reported an enhancement of 60% over manual methods. However, this system requires
manual intervention during various stages of the reconstruction process and may slow down the
automation process. A tool [3] to assist archaeologists presents a computer aided reconstruction of
complete&incompletearchaeological objectsand amethodtoestimatethe qualityofanassociation
based on a surface area evaluation. A novel approach [4] towards classifying pottery is based on 3D
modelsoftheshardsacquiredbya3Dscannerviatheuseofstructuredlight.The3Dmodelisoriented
bytheuseofplanefittingandHoughinspiredmethodsandtheclassificationisdonebycomparingthe
extreme points and the primitives. An automated method [5] for assembly of pots fromthousands of
shardsisreportedbyresearchersatBrownUniversity.Matchingoffragmentsisdonebyaligningthem
geometricallyintoconfigurationsbasedonmatchingbreakcurves,estimatedaxisandprofilecurvepairs
for individual fragments. The majority of the previous works involve a large degree of manual
intervention during the pottery reconstruction process. A fully automated method for pottery
reconstruction from individual fragments is presented in [12]. The authors have presented a method
that takes a large number of pottery shards as input and based on the acquired 3D data attempts to
combinethemin3Dspace.Thissophisticatedmethodalthoughfullyautomated,involvesalotoftimeat
the data acquisition and processing stages. Further, it defines a complete automated pipeline as a
potential replacement to the archaeologist. This differs from our aim of generating quick interactive
reconstructions from 2D data which aids archaeologists in visualizing pottery and hence, supplements
theirexpertiseratherthanreplacingit.

Theexistingmethodsofpotteryclassificationareanimprovementoverthemanualmethodsbutthere
isstillroomforimprovementonefficiencyandaccuracy.Thecomputervisionbasedtoolpresentedin
thispaperclassifiesapotsprofileinsecondswithanaccuracyof97%.Withinthesametimeduration,it
constructsa3Dmodelfromtheprofileonthebasisofsymmetry.Thetoolallowstheusertomanipulate
the constructed model by dynamically altering its radius, orientation and texture. A partial pot profile
canbeclassifiedandextendedviatheadditionofuserdefinedsplines.The3Dmodelofthisextended
profile can be visualized and manipulated. Furthermore, it allows archaeologists to collaborate over a
networkandsimultaneouslyviewandmanipulatethereconstructed3Dmodelsbytheuseoftheclient
server architecture. This tool does not require the user to have an indepth knowledge of the
functioningofthetoolandnocommercialsoftwarearerequiredforthereconstructionofthe3Dmodel.

2.PotteryClassificationandReconstructionTool
The Pottery Classification and Reconstruction Tool, enables classification of both complete and partial
potprofileswith97%accuracy.Itprovidestheuserwithareconstructed3Dmodelofapotgenerated
fromanimageofthepotsprofile.Thismodelcanbemanipulatedbyalteringitsradius,orientationand
texture.Thisenablesanarchaeologisttovisualizeandstudytheentirepotratherthanrelyingonthepot
profile for analysis. The tools profile editor enables the addition of user defined splines to partial
profiles. These extended profiles can also be visualized with the help of a 3D model. This section
discusses some of the main features of the tool such as profile outline and control points extraction,
classificationofcompletepotprofiles,classificationofpartialpotprofiles,potprofileeditor,potprofile,
andsplinedatabasesandconstructionof3Dmodelsofpots.Figure1showssomeofthepotteryprofiles
used in the database of the tool. For each sample it also shows the base illustration and the pottery
profileutilizedforclassificationandreconstruction.
(a)

(b)

(c)

Fig.1.Someofthepotteryprofilesusedinthedatabaseofthetoolfrom(a)ancientIndia
(b)theurbanlifeinthehighlandsofJordanandthe(c)HebrideanIronAge

ThepotprofilesfromancientIndiahavebeencontributedbyProf.VinodNautiyal[7]atH.N.BGarhwal
University,India.ProfilesfromJordanhavebeentakenfromtheTellMadabaArchaeologicalProjectat
theUniversityofToronto[8]andthosefromtheIronAgehavebeenprocuredfromtheDepartmentof
ArchaeologyattheUniversityofEdinburgh[9].

2.1ProfileOutlineandControlPointsExtraction
Tofacilitatetheclassificationandreconstructionof agivenpotsprofile,itsoutlineandsubsequently
thecontrolpointsontheoutlinemustbeextractedfromtheimage.Hence,uponloadinganimageofa
profile the user is presented with its outline and control points. Figure 2 shows the outline extracted
fromanimageofapotprofile.
Fig.2.Extractionofaprofileoutline

Pointsontheoutlineofacurvewherethereisanabruptchangeinslopearetermedascontrolpoints.
Highlightingthesepointsontheoutlineofaprofileaidsthearchaeologistinitsanalysis.Thenumberof
controlpointscanbevariedandthecorrespondingchangestotheprofilecanbeviewedsimultaneously.
The classification and reconstruction of profiles is based upon the number of control points chosen.
Thus,allowingthearchaeologisttoviewtheeffectofalteringthenumberofcontrolpointsonthesetwo
operations.Figure3showstheextractionofcontrolpointsfromtheoutlineofaprofile.

Fig.3.Extractionofprofilecontrolpoints

2.2ClassificationofCompletePotProfiles
Manualclassificationofpotteryprofilesisarepetitiveandoftentimeconsumingtask.Thistoolenables
the archaeologist to classify a profile in seconds, based on a user defined database of profiles. After
classification, the profiles most resembling the input profile are reported along with their names and
values indicating the magnitude of difference from the original profile. The user can toggle between
theseprofilesandcanalsocompareeachoftheresultsbysuperimposingthemontotheoriginalprofile.
This method of classification is based on the Fourier Transform and is thus invariant of all affine
transformations.Figure4showstheprimaryresultofaclassificationprocess.
Fig.4.Resultofclassificationofapotprofile

2.3 Classification of Partial Pot Profiles


Therearetwoscenarioswhereinanarchaeologistshallutilizethisfeature.Thefirstscenarioiswhenthe
inputprofileisofashardandthecompleteprofiletowhichitbelongsmustbelocated.ShowninFigure
5isaprofileofashardwhichisfoundtobeapartofacompleteprofilefoundinthedatabase.

Fig.5.Classificationofpartialpotprofiles

The second scenario is when the user wants to find profiles that have a certain section in common,
irrespective of their overall differences. Figure 6 shows the similarity found between two sections of
differentprofiles.Asinthecaseofcompleteprofileclassification,agroupofprofilesmostresembling
theinputprofilearereportedalongwiththeirnamesandavalueindicatingthedifferenceinmagnitude
from the original profile. Partial profile classification is achieved by applying the Fourier Transform on
profileskeletons.
Fig.6.Classificationofsectionsofpotprofiles

2.4PotProfileEditor
Thepotprofileeditorenablesthealterationofpotprofilesviatheadditionofuserdefinedsplinesalong
theitslength.ThetoolspotprofileeditorisshowninFigure7.Asplinecanbecreatedbyalteringits
control points in number and in location. A previously saved spline can also be loaded from the
database. Splines can be appended to any point along the boundary of an existing pot profile and,
corresponding changes to the profile and the 3D model of the pot can be viewed simultaneously.
Archaeologists can utilize this feature for altering profiles of complete pots and also for extending
profilesoffragments.

Fig.7.Thepotprofileeditor

2.5PotProfileandSplineDatabases
Theclassificationofpartialandcompletepotprofilesisdonewithrespecttoauserdefineddatabaseof
profiles. To add a new profile to the database, an image of the profile is provided to the tool for
computations.Followingwhich,thatprofileisaddedtothedatabaseandinstantlybecomesavailablefor
comparisons.Therealsoexistsaseparatedatabaseofuserdefinedsplines.Aftercreationofaspline,in
the pot profile editor, it can be added into this database. This enables the archaeologist to apply the
samebasetoseveraldifferentpotprofileswithouthavingtoredrawthespline.

2.6Constructionof3DModelsofPots
Theconstructionof3Dmodels,isbasedontheassumptionthatallpotshavebeencreatedonapotters
wheelandarehencesymmetricabouttheYaxis.Withthehelpofthisassumptionandthepotprofile
data,thetoolcreatesa3Dmodelofthepot.However,sincethetoolreceivesa2Dimageofthepots
profile as input, it is impossible to predict the radius of the pot. To counter this, the radius of the
constructed pot can be varied and the corresponding changes can be viewed simultaneously. The
orientationofthepotcanalsobealtered,enablingtheusertoviewthepotfromallangles.Userdefined
texturescanbeappliedtothereconstructedpottomakeitlookmoreauthentic.Further,thetextures
canalsohaveaclayormetallicbase.Figure8showsthe3Dmodelofapot.

Fig.8.A3Dmodelcreatedfromaninputpotprofile

2.7CollaborativePotteryVisualizationoveraLAN
The tool allows multiple archaeologists to collaborate over a Local Area Network via the 3D pottery
visualization module. Archaeologists can adopt a clientserver mechanism in which one user
manipulates the constructed 3D model and the other users simultaneously view the orientation and
texturechangesbeingmadetothepot.Thisenablestheuserstoutilize thevisualizationcapabilityof
thetooltocollectivelyanalyzeanddiscussthereconstructedpot.

3.OUTLINEOFALGORITHMS
This section gives a brief description of the main algorithms which were used to create the Pottery
ReconstructionandClassificationTool.Themainalgorithmswhichhavebeendiscussedareextractionof
profileoutline,extractionofprofilecontrolpoints,classificationofcompletepotprofiles,classification
ofpartialpotprofiles,andconstructionof3Dmodelsofpots.

3.1ExtractionofProfileOutline
Thepotteryclassificationandreconstructionutilitiesarebasedupontheoutlineofthegivenpotprofile.
Hence,thefirststepinprocessingthe givenimageistoextracttheoutline.Figure9showsazoomed
view of an input pot profile. The orientation of the profile within the image is not fixed; hence the
algorithmmustbeapplicabletoallorientationsandsizes.

Fig.9.Azoomedviewofapotprofile

Thealgorithmtreatstheentireimageisasalargemazeandacrawlerisutilizedtotracetheoutlineof
theprofile.Thecrawlerisanameforthefunctionwhosepurposeistotracetheoutlineoftheprofile.
Thiscrawleruponlocatingthefirstnonwhitepixelintheimagestartstofollowtheboundarypixelsof
the profile until it again reaches the first pixel. Any pixel which has one or more white pixels as its
neighbors is defined as a boundary pixel. Each of the eight traversable directions (in the maze) is
assignedapriorityaccordingtowhichthecrawlermoves.Alongwiththesearchdirectionitalsokeeps
trackofthelastfewboundarypixelsinordertoavoidbacktracing.Figure10showstheresultantoutline
afterapplyingacrawlertotheprofileshowninFigure9.

Fig.10.Azoomedviewoftheoutlineofthepotprofileinfigure9

3.2ExtractionofProfileControlPoints
Control points are extracted from the outline of a profile to reduce the computations involved in the
processofreconstructionandclassification.Apointwithahigherrelevance[6]valuesignifiesthatithas
alargercontributiontotheshapeofthecurve.Equation1showstheformulautilizedtocomputethe
relevanceofapointonthecurve.

S
S1 S2


| B( s1 , s2 ) 180 | l ( s1 )l ( s2 )
K (s) =
l ( s1 ) + l ( s2 )

S,S1,S2arepointsontheprofileofacurve
K(S)istherelevanceofthepointStotheshapeofthecurve
BistheturnangleofSwithpointsS1andS2
isthelengthbetweenSandeitheroftheotherpointsasdenoted

Equation1.Relevanceofapointonthecurve

Controlpointsarechosenonthepotsprofilebyremovingtheirrelevantshapefeaturesandkeepingthe
relevant ones. This is achieved by iteratively comparing the relevance measure of all points on the
profile.Foreachoftheseiterations,thevertexthathasthelowestrelevancemeasureisremovedanda
new segment is established by connecting the two adjacent points. Figure 11 shows a comparison
betweenapotprofilecreatedusingallavailablepointsandthesamepotprofilecreatedusingtwenty
fivecontrolpoints.

Fig.11.Acompletepotprofilecomparedwithits25controlpoints

3.3ClassificationofCompletePotProfiles
ApotprofileisakintoaclosedcurveandtheFourierTransformisappliedtotheclosedcurvetoobtain
apowerspectrum[6].Afternormalization,thispowerspectrumisinvarianttoallaffinetransformations.
Equation 2 enlists the formula utilized to compute the Fourier expansion and also its frequency
components.Equation3showstheformulautilizedforthecomputationofthepowerspectrum.


(l ) = 0 + (an cos nl + bn sin nl )
n1
1 m
0 = k k
L k 1
1 m
k sin 2n k 1 m
k cos 2n k
an =
n
k 1 L
bn =
n
k 1 L
k m
k = li L = li
i 1 i 1

(l ) istheFourierexpansionforafunctionT(l)whichistheprofilecurve
nisthetotalnumberoffrequencycomponents
anandbnarethecoefficientsforeachfrequencycomponentsoftheFourierexpansion
Listhetotallengthofthecurve
misthetotalnumberofpointsonthecurve
k istheangleasforcontrolpointkasdescribedinequation1
listhenormalizedlengthasdescribedinequation1
kisusedtodenotethecurrentpointbeinghandledonthecurveinthesummationwhile
computinganandbn

Equation.2.TheFourierexpansionfortheprofilecurveanditsfrequencycomponents

An = an2 + bn2

= tan (b / a )
1

n n n

Anisthepowerspectrum
n isthephaseangleinformation
anandbnarethecoefficientsforeachfrequencycomponentsasdiscussedinequation2

Equation.3.Powerspectrumandphaseangleinformation

Aftercomputingthenormalizedpowerspectrum,asimilaritymeasureiscomputedbetweentheinput
profile and each profile in the database. This similarity measure compares the first few values in the
powerspectrum(asthemajorityoftheenergyofthepowerspectrumliesinthesevalues)andisusedto
deduceanerrorvaluewhichrepresentsthemagnitudeofdifferencebetweenthetwoprofiles.Equation
4showstheformulausedforcomputingthesimilaritymeasurementbetweentwopowerspectrumsof
potprofiles[6].

D [ c, c ' ] = ( | A A | )
k k
' 2 1/ 2

c,carethetwoprofilecurvestobecompared
Ak Ak' arethepowerspectrumsfortheirrespectivecurves
D[c,c]isthesimilaritymeasureofthepowerspectrumsofthetwocurves

Equation.4.Similaritymeasurementbetweentwoprofilecurves
Finally,theresultsaredisplayedin theincreasingorderoferrorvalues.Thus,apotprofilewhichhas
been distorted via an affine transformation such as translation, rotation, scaling, shearing or a
combination of the above can still be successfully classified to its corresponding profile within the
database.

3.4ClassificationofPartialPotProfiles
Classification of partial pot profiles does not differ from the classification of complete profiles in the
methodofcomparisonbutintheapplicationofthatmethod.Toreducethenumberofcomparisonsand
toensureacorrectclassificationofthepartialprofiletheFourierTransformisappliedtotheskeletonof
the profiles involved. Firstly, the skeleton of the partial profile is extracted and its normalized power
spectrum is computed. Following which, each of the database profile skeletons are broken into
fragments of the size of the input profile and their normalized power spectrums are computed.
Similaritymeasuresarethencomputedbetweeneachofthepowerspectrumsofthefragmentsandthe
inputprofiletodeducethemagnitudeoferror.Theresultsarethendisplayedintheincreasingorderof
errorvalues.

3.5Constructionof3DModelsofPots
For the construction of a 3D model, the control points on the pot profile need to be mapped into a
spatial arrangement. To achieve this, a central axis is selected and the distance of each control point
fromthatcentralaxisiscomputed.Usingthisdistance,thecontrolpointismappedtobetheboundary
pointforthepots3DmodelandisiterativelyrotatedaroundtheYaxistocreatealayerofthemodel.
This process is repeated for every single control point. This generates a 3D arrangement of boundary
pointsofthepot,whicharethenrenderedusingOpenGL.Sinceitisimpossibletocomputetheradiusof
apotviaa2Dimage,anarbitraryvalueischoseninitiallyandthisradiuscanlaterbeeditedinteractively
whilethepotisbeingvisualized

4.Conclusion
Wehavereviewedsomeoftheexistingcomputerbasedautomationtoolsforthefieldofarchaeology
andpresentedaPotteryClassificationandReconstructionToolwhichovercomesthedrawbacksfound
in the existing tools. The tool classifies pottery profiles on the basis of a user defined database in a
matter of seconds, with an accuracy of 97%. A task which takes several hours if performed manually.
The archaeologist can visualize and manipulate reconstructed 3D models of pots created from 2D
images of pot profiles and classify and extend partial pot profiles. Further, the tool enables
archaeologiststocollaborativelyanalyzereconstructedpotterybyusingaclientservermodeloverthe
LAN.Theentireprocessofclassificationandreconstructionisextremelyuserfriendly,thusempowering
archaeologiststotakeadvantageofthiscomputerbasedautomationtool.

5.Acknowledgement
WeareextremelythankfultoProf.VinodNautiyal,anarchaeologist,forhisinputsandsuggestions.The
feedbackreceivedfromthevariousparticipantsattheINDOUSworkshoponDigitalArchaeology,2005
wasalsoveryhelpful.

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