Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more


In this article, Marcel Lüthi motivates the use of analytically defined Gaussian Process models for modelling shape variations.
© University of Basel

So far in the course we have learned how to define a Gaussian Process (GP(mu, k)) by estimating its mean (mu) and covariance function (k) from example data. Estimating the shape variations from normal examples ensures that the model will also only represent anatomically valid shape variations. This type of shape models have been extremely successful in many applications and are by now firmly established.

Estimating the mean and covariance function from example data is only one of many ways to define the parameters of a Gaussian Process.
This week we will look at different choices of the covariance function. We will introduce simple covariance functions in analytic form and discuss how we can build more complex models by combining different covariance functions. By the end of this week, we will see how this idea allows us to define flexible shape models even in cases where only few example shapes are available.
The full potential of modelling shapes using analytically defined Gaussian Processes will become clearer in Week 6, where we will see that these models give rise to powerful methods for establishing correspondence between example shapes.

© University of Basel
This article is from the free online

Statistical Shape Modelling: Computing the Human Anatomy

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education