Authors: Charles-Olivier Dufresne Camaro, Morteza Rezanejad, Stavros Tsogkas, Kaleem Siddiqi, Sven Dickinson Description: We combine ideas from shock graph theory with more recent appearance-based methods for medial axis extraction from complex natural scenes, improving upon the present best unsupervised method, in terms of efficiency and performance. We make the following specific contributions: i) we extend the shock graph representation to the domain of real images, by generalizing the shock type definitions using local, appearance-based criteria. ii) we then use the rules of a Shock Grammar to guide our search for medial points, drastically reducing run time when compared to other methods, which exhaustively consider all points in the input image. iii) we remove the need for typical post-processing steps including thinning, non-maximum suppression, and grouping, by adhering to the Shock Grammar rules while deriving the medial axis solution. iv) finally, we raise some fundamental concerns with the evaluation scheme used in previous work and propose a more appropriate alternative for assessing the performance of medial axis extraction from scenes. Our experiments on the BMAX500 and SK-LARGE datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. We outperform the present state-of-the-art, excelling particularly in the high-precision regime, while running an order of magnitude faster and requiring no post-processing.