Computer Puts the Pieces TogetherCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: June 22, 2012 11:08AM
Jigsaw puzzles can be a lot of fun, but they can also be very tedious to complete with their hundreds of pieces. Like other tedious tasks, researchers are trying to get computers to do them for us, and one of these algorithms can put together a 10,000 piece puzzle in just 24 hours. Adding to the achievement is the fact that those pieces are all square, so there are no hints from the shapes of the pieces.
Created by a researcher at Cornell University, this algorithm looks at the color patterns of each piece. As a color pattern likely crosses from one piece to the next, this allows the algorithm to score pairs of pieces for how likely they are to be adjacent in the puzzle. This algorithm is able to orient pieces correctly, so if it is rotated when given to the computer, it will not break the system, and neither will having multiple puzzles with all of their pieces intermingled.
This and similar algorithms are going to be demonstrated at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference later this month. Potentially some of the algorithms there will be even more powerful than this one. Already one of the attending researchers has said that with some improvements it should be possible to make these algorithms faster.