Phone: 86-27-87558918


Academic Areas: Image understanding and analysis, Depth information extraction, 3d video processing, Motion detection, Human action analysis

Research Interests:

Zhiguo Cao is a professor of the Department of Intelligence Science and Technology, School of Automation, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. He has served as the Dean of School of Automation, HUST, since 2013.

Professor Cao's research interest involves image understanding and analysis, depth information extraction, 3d video processing, motion detection and human action analysis. During his whole career life, he focuses on designing the practical computer vision system to balance the theoretical research and engineering applications. A number of his research achievements have been successfully applied to the industrial fields. The outstanding exemplar is the "Chang E III" lunar lander. In particular, Professor Cao and his team devoted the essential contributions to constructing the accurate soft landing component for the system. Meanwhile, he also addresses the efforts to boost the cutting-edge inter-discipline research among computer vision, machine learning, agriculture, meteorology and medicine.

Academic Degrees

Sept. 1981 – July. 1985, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, B. S. in Electronic Engineering

Sept. 1987 – Apr. 1990, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, M. S. in Telecommunication and Electronic system

Sept. 1996 – Dec. 2001, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Ph. D. in Pattern Recognition and Intelligent System

Professional Experience

Mar. 2013 – Present: Professor, Dean, School of Automation, National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Multi-spectral Information Processing, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

May 2004 – Fed. 2013: Professor, Institute of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

May 1998 – Apr. 2004: Associate Professor, Institute of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Jan. 1995 – Apr. 1998: Assistant Professor, Institute of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Apr. 1990 – Dec. 1994: Assistant Professor, Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Jul. 1985 – Aug. 1987: Assistant Engineer, Design Institute of Wuhan Telecommunication Factory

Selected Publications


[1] Hao Lu, Zhiguo Cao,Yang  Xiao,Zhiwen Fang, Yanjun Zhu, “Towards fine-grained maize tassel flowering status recognition: dataset, theory and practice”,Applied Soft Computing, ISSN:1568-4946,Accepted

[2] Jiaqi Yang , Qian Zhang , Ke Xian , Yang Xiao , Zhiguo Cao*, “Rotational contour signatures for both real-valued and binary feature representations of 3D local shape”,Computer Vision and Image UnderstandingISSN:1077-3142,Accepted, DOI: 10.1016/j.cviu.2017.02.004,

[3] Jiaqi Yang, PR “Two-dimensional subspace alignment for convolutional activations adaptation”, Pattern Recognition, ISSN:0031-3203, Accepted

[4] Hao Lu, Zhiguo Cao*, Yang Xiao, Zhiwen Fang, and Yanjun Zhu,“Towards Good Practices for Fine-Grained Maize Cultivar Identification With Filter-Specific Convolutional Activations”,IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING,ISSN:1545-5955,Accepted,DOI: 10.1109/TASE.2016.2616485

[5] Jiaqi Yang, Qian Zhang, Yang Xiao, Zhiguo Cao*,“TOLDI: An effective and robust approach for 3D local shape description”,Pattern Recognition,Vol.65: 175-187, May.2017. ISSN:0031-3203 , DOI: 10.1016/j.patcog.2016.11.019

[6] Zhiwen Fang, Zhiguo Cao, Yang Xiao, Hao Lu,“Refine BING using effective cascade ranking”,Applied Soft Computing,Vol.52: 487--500, Mar.2017. ISSN: 1568-4946,DOI: 10.1016/j.asoc.2016.10.019

[7] Yanan Li, Zhiguo Cao*, Hao Lu, Yang Xiao, Yanjun Zhu, Armin B. Cremers, “In-field cotton detection via region-based semantic image segmentation”,Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Vol.127: 475-486, Sep.2016. ISSN:0168-1699,DOI: 10.1016/j.compag,2016.07.006

[8] Chunhua Deng, Zhiguo Cao*, Yang Xiao, Hao Lu, Ke Xian, and Yin Chen, “Exploiting Attribute Dependency for Attribute Assignment in Crowded Scenes”, IEEE Signal Processing Letters, VOL.23 (10):1325--1329, 2016,ISSN: 1070-9908,DOI: 10.1109/LSP.2016.2592689

[9] Zhiwen Fang, Zhiguo Cao, Yang Xiao, Lei Zhu, and Junsong Yuan, “Adobe Boxes: Locating Object Proposals Using Object Adobes”, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON IMAGE PROCESSING, VOL. 25(9):4116--4128, September 2016,ISSN: 1057-7149,DOI: 10.1109/TIP.2016.2579311  

[10] Hao Lu, Zhiguo Cao*, Yang Xiao, Yanan Li, and Yanjun Zhu,“Region-based colour modelling for joint crop and maize tassel segmentation”,Biosystems Engineering, Vol.147: 139—150, Jul. 2016, ISSN:1537-5110,DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.04.007

[11] Yang Xiao, Zhiguo Cao*, Wen Zhuo, Liang Ye and Lei Zhu,“mCLOUD: A Multiview Visual Feature Extraction Mechanism for Ground-Based Cloud Image Categorization”,Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol.33,No.4, 789–801, April. 2016. ISSN:0739-0572,DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0015.1

[12] Jiaqi Yang, Zhiguo Cao, Qian Zhang*, “A fast and robust local descriptor for 3D point cloud registration”,Information Sciences ,Vol.346–347: 163–179, Mar.2016,ISSN: 0020-0255, DOI: 10.1016/j.ins.2016.01.095

[13] Yanjun Zhu, Zhiguo Cao, Hao Lu, Yanan Li, Yang Xiao, “In-field automatic observation of wheat heading stage using computer vision”, Biosystems Engineering, Vol.143: 28—41, Mar. 2016, ISSN:1537-5110,DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2015.12.015

[14] Hao Lu, Zhiguo Cao, Yang Xiao, Zhiwen Fang, Yanjun Zhu, Ke Xian ;“Fine-grained maize tassel trait characterization with multi-view representations”,Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Vol.118: 143-158, Oct.2015. ISSN:0168-1699,DOI: 10.1016/j.compag.2015.08.027

[15] Mengni Ye, Zhiguo Cao*, Zhenghong Yu, Xiaodong Bai, “Crop feature extraction from images with probabilistic superpixel Markov random field” Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Vol.114: 247-260, June.2015. ISSN:0168-1699 ,DOI: 10.1016/j.compag.2015.04.010   

[16] Chunhua Deng, Zhiguo Cao,  Zhiwen Fang, Yin Chen, Ruicheng Yan, and Yang Xiao“Recognizing the Formations of CVBG Based on Multi-viewpoint Context”, IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, VOL. 51, NO. 3: 1793-1810, July, 2015,  ISSN:0018-9251,DOI: 10.1109/TAES.2015.140141

[17] Qian Zhang, Zhiguo Cao, Zhongwen Hu, Yonghong Jia, and Xiaoliang Wu,“Joint Image Registration and Fusion for Panchromatic and Multispectral Image”,IEEE GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING LETTERS, VOL. 12, NO. 3, 467—471, MARCH 2015,ISSN:1545-598X,DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2014.2346398

[18] Lei Zhu, Zhiguo Cao*, Wen Zhuo, Ruicheng Yan, and Shuqing Ma,“A New Dew and Frost Detection Sensor Based on Computer Vision”Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol.31,No.12, 2692–2712, December. 2014. ISSN:0739-0572,DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00102.1

[19] Lei Zhu, Dominik A. Klein, Simone Frintrop, Zhiguo Cao*, and Armin B. Cremers,“A Multisize Superpixel Approach for Salient Object Detection Based on  Multivariate Normal Distribution Estimation”,IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON IMAGE PROCESSING, VOL. 23(12):5094--5107, DECEMBER 2014,ISSN: 1057-7149,DOI: 10.1109/TIP.2014.2361024

[20] Bai Xiaodong, Cao Zhiguo, Wang Yu, Yu Zhenghong, Zhu hu, Zhang Xuefen, Li Cuina,  “Vegetation segmentation robust to illumination variations based on clustering and morphology modelling”, Biosystems Engineering, Vol.125: 80—97, Sep. 2014, ISSN:1537-5110,DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2014.06.015

[21] Qin Yueming, Cao Zhiguo, Zhuo Wen, Yu Zhenghong, “Robust Key point descriptor for multi-spectral image matching ”, Journal of Systems Engineering and Electronics, Vol.25, No4: 681-687, Aug. 2014, ISSN:1004-4132,DOI: 10.1109/JSEE.2014.00078

[22] Bai Xiaodong, Cao Zhiguo, Wang Yu, Ye Mengni and Zhulei, “Image segmentation using modified SLIC and Nyström based spectralclustering”Optik, Vol.125, No.16: 4302-4307, Aug.2014,ISSN: 0030-4026,DOI: 10.1016/j.ijleo.2014.03.035

[23] Yin Chen, Armin B. Cremers, Zhiguo Cao,“Interactive color image segmentation via iterative evidential labeling”,International Journal on Information Fusion, Vol.20: 292-304, Nov. 2014, ISSN:1566-2535,DOI: 10.1016/j.inffus.2014.03.007

[24] Yan Ruicheng, Cao Zhiguo, Wang Jianhui, Zhong Sheng, Dominik Klein and Armin Cremers, “Horizontal Velocity Estimation via Downward Looking Descent Images for Lunar Landing”, IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, VOL. 50, NO. 2: 1197-1221, April, 2014,  ISSN:0018-9251, DOI: 10.1109/TAES.2014.120065

[25] Chen, Yin, Armin B. Cremers, Cao, Zhiguo, “A variational change detection method for multitemporal SAR images”, REMOTE SENSING LETTERS, Vol.5, No.4: 342—351, April, 2014, ISSN: 2150-704X, DOI: 10.1080/2150704X.2014.904970

[26] Xiao Yang, Cao Zhiguo and Yuan Junsong, “Entropic image thresholding based on GLGM histogram”, Pattern Recognition Letters, Vol.40, 47—55, April, 2014, ISSN:0167-8655,Doi:10.1016/j.patrec.2013.12.017

[27] Wang Jianhui, Zhong Sheng, Yan Luxin and Cao Zhiguo,“An Embedded System-on-Chip Architecture for Real-time Visual Detection and Matching”, IEEE Transactions on  Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, Vol.24, No.3: 525—538, Mar., 2014, ISSN: 1051-8215, DOI: 10.1109/TCSVT.2013.2280040

[28] Zhuo Wen, Cao Zhiguo and Xiao Yang, “Cloud Classification of Ground-based Images Using Texture-Structure Features”, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol.31,No.1, 79-92, January. 2014. ISSN:0739-0572,DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00048.1

[29] Chen Yin, Cao Zhiguo, “Change detection of multispectral remote-sensing images using stationary wavelet transforms and integrated active contours”,,International Journal Remote Sensing, Vol. 34, No. 24, 8817–8837, 2013. ISSN: 0143-1161DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2013.853145

[30] Bai Xiaodong, Cao Zhiguo, Wang Yu, Yu Zhenghong, Zhang Xuefen, Li Cuina, “Crop segmentation from images by morphology modeling in the CIE L*a*b* color space”, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Vol.99: 21-34, November.2013. ISSN:0168-1699,Doi:10.1016/j.compag.2013.08.022

[31] Yu Zhenghong, Cao Zhiguo, et al, “Automatic image-based detection technology for two critical growth stages of maize: Emergence and three-leaf stage”, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Vol.174 (6): 65-84, June, 2013. ISSN 0168-1923, Doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2013.02.011

[32] Chen Yin, Cao Zhiguo, “An improved MRF-based change detection approach for multitemporal remote sensing imagery”, Signal Processing, Vol.93 (1):163-175, Jan. 2013. ISSN 0165-1684,Doi:10.1016/j.sigpro.2012.07.013

[33] Zhong Sheng, Wang Jianhui, Yan Luxin, Kang Lie, Cao Zhiguo, “A real-time embedded architecture for SIFT”, JOURNAL OF SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE, Vol.59(1): 16-29, Jan,2013,Doi:10.1016/j.sysarc.2012.09.002

[34] Wang Wenwu, Cao Zhiguo, “Recognition of blurred faces using local phase pattern”, Electronics Letters,  Vol.48 (20):1262-1263, Sep. 2012. ISSN: 0013-5194,DOI: 10.1049/el.2012.2482

[35] Zheng Yi, Cao Zhiguo, “Classification method for aerial LiDAR data based on Markov Random Field”, Electronics letters,  Vol.47(16): 934-936, Aug. 2011. ISSN: 0013-5194,DOI: 10.1049/el.2011.0949

[36] Xiao Yang, Cao Zhiguo, Zhuo Wen, “Type-2 fuzzy thresholding using GLSC histogram of human visual nonlinearity characteristics”, Optics Express, Vol. 19(11): 10656-10672, May. 2011. ISSN: 1094-4087, DOI: 10.1364/OE.19.010656

[37] Xiao Yang, Cao Zhiguo, Zhong Sheng. “New entropic thresholding approach using gray level spatial correlation histogram”, Optical Engineering,Vol.49(12): 127007, Dec. 2010. ISSN: 0091-3286,DOI: 10.1117/1.3526333

[38] Zheng Yi, Cao Zhiguo, Xiao Yang, “Multi-spectral remote image registration based on SIFT”, Electronics Letters,Vol.44 (2):107-108, Jan. 2008. ISSN: 0013-5194,DOI: 10.1049/el:20082477

[39] Jiaqi Yang, Qian Zhang, Ke Xian, Yang Xiao, Zhiguo Cao,“Rotational Contour Signatures For Robust Local Surface Description”,International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2016), Phoenix, USA, Sep. 2016, pp:3598 – 3602, DOI:10.1109/ICIP.2016.7533030

[40] Hao Lu, Zhiguo Cao, Yang Xiao, Zhiwen Fang, and Yanjun Zhu,“Fine-grained Maize Cultivar Identification Using Filter-Specific Convolutional  Activations”,International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2016), Phoenix, USA,Sep. 2016, pp:3718 - 3722, DOI: 10.1109/ICIP.2016.7533054

[41] Ye Liang, Cao Zhiguo, Xiao Yang, Li Wei, “Ground-based cloud image categorization using deep convolutional visual features”, International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2015), Quebec, Canada, pp: 4808 - 4812, DOI: 10.1109/ICIP.2015.7351720

[42] Xie Xiaokang, Cao Zhiguo, Xiao Yang, Zhu Mengyu, Lu Hao, “Blurred image recognition using domain adaptation”,International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2015), Quebec, Canada, pp: 532 - 536, DOI: 10.1109/ICIP.2015.7350855

[43] Zhu Mengyu, Cao Zhiguo, Xiao Yang, Xie Xiaokang, “Beyond local phase quantization: Mid-level blurred image representation using fisher vector”,International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2015), Quebec, Canada, pp: 1890 - 1894, DOI: 10.1109/ICIP.2015.7351129

[44] Zhu Lei, Dominik A. Klein, Simone Frintrop, Cao Zhiguo, Armin B. Cremers, “Multi-scaleregion-basedsaliencydetectionusing W2 distance on N-dimensional normaldistributions”, International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2013), Melbourne, Australia, pp176-180.

[45] Zhuo Wen, Cao Zhiguo, et al, “Image classification using HTM cortical learning algorithms”, International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR2012), Tsukuba Science City, JAPAN, pp2452—2455, Nov.2012,

[46] Xiao Yang, Cao Zhiguo, Zhang Tianxu. “Entropic thresholding based on gray-level spatial correlation histogram”, International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR2008), Tampa, USA. Dec.2008,


Awards and Honors

Nine of his projects have received provincial or ministerial level awards of Science and Technology Progress in China since 1997.

Courses Taught

For Undergraduates: Pattern Recognition

For Graduates: Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition Theory


Current Research Project:

[1] Jan. 2015 – Dec. 2017: the National High-tech R&D Program of China (863 Program) (Grant No. 2015AA015904): “3D Video Viewpoint Synthesis and Display System based on Light Field”.


[2] Jan. 2016 – Dec. 2020: the Fundamental Research for Application of Guangdong Province (Grant No. 2014ZT05G304): “Multi-source Environment Sensing and Intelligent Control for Autonomous USV”.


[3] Jan. 2016 – Dec. 2018: the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61502187): “RGB-D Human Activity Recognition using Deep Feature Learning”.


[4] Jan. 2016 – Dec. 2017: The Enterprise Funded Project: “Real-time Object detection and Tracking for the Complex Scene”.


[5] Jan. 2016 – May. 2017: The Enterprise Funded Project: “Weakly Supervised Feature Learning for Object Detection”.


Patents and Software Copyright Registration:


[1] Chinese invention patent: An Autonomous Rice Ear Stage Detection Method, ZL 201210061671.X, May 2014.


[2] Chinese invention patent: An Autonomous Cotton Three True Leaves Stage Detection Method, ZL 201210080445.6, March 2014.


[3] Chinese invention patent: An Autonomous Wheat Emergence Stage Detection Method, ZL 201210075979.X, March 2014.


[4] Chinese invention patent: An Autonomous Rice Milky Stage Detection Method, ZL 201210061645.7, February 2013.


[5] Chinese invention patent: An Autonomous Corn Three and Seven Leaves Stage Detection Method, ZL 201110162626.9, September 2013.


[6] Chinese invention patent: An Image Processing based Raindrop Status Recognition Method, ZL 201110192029.0, May 2013.


[7] Chinese invention patent: An Image Processing based Ground Status Recognition Method, ZL 201110175608.4, October 2012.


[8] Chinese invention patent: An Autonomous Frost Detection Method, ZL 201010592481.1, September 2012.


[9] Chinese invention patent: An Autonomous Dew Detection Method, ZL 201010592443.6, August 2012.


[10] Chinese invention patent: An Raindrop Recognition Method, ZL 201010145824.X, May 2012.


[11] Chinese Software Copyright Registration: Scene Classification Software, No 2007SR03723.


[12] Chinese Software Copyright Registration: Airplane Recognition Software, No 2006SR03014.


[13] Chinese Software Copyright Registration: Autonomous Airport Recognition Software, No 2006SR02678.

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