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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 searcharXiv:2004.02677v1 fatcat:vohghovsererffnewmmzklfkqa