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Fahad Al Ghazali Evovled_gradient_detection

Fahad Al Ghazali Evovled_gradient_detection

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An evolved Image Segmentation Technique
An evolved Image Segmentation Technique

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Published by: fahadalghazali on Aug 22, 2010
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An Evolved Image Segmentation Technique forGradient Detection and Outside Markers
Fahad Al Ghazali
Computer Engineering Department, Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering, PakistanCASE, G-5/1 , Islamabad 
— In this paper, an evolved image segmentationtechnique is presented, which incorporates watershedsegmentation and a modified graph based segmentationtechnique. The presented algorithm successfully solves theinability of watershed transforms to segment regions havinggradually changing gray level shades or segments havinggranularity in their outlook. Furthermore, the algorithm alsopaints inside outside markers on most prominent regions whichreduce over-segmentation, which is another observed problemwith watershed technique. The algorithm has been simulated andtested using MATLAB code and it has been shown in this paper,that the proposed algorithm reduces the above mentionedproblems in watershed technique. The applications of thisalgorithm can be in all the fields related to image segmentation.
Watersheds, Image segmentation, granularity,gradient, markers
 Region based segmentation is a very powerful concept forregion based image segmentation.
 Region Based Segmentation
Region segmentation is the task of finding groups of pixelsthat “go together”. In statistics, this problem is known ascluster analysis and is a widely studied area with hundreds of different algorithms. In computer vision, image segmentationis one of the oldest and most widely studied problems. Earlytechniques tend to use region splitting or merging, whichcorrespond to divisive and agglomerative algorithms in theclustering literature. More recent algorithms often optimizesome global criterion, such as intra-region consistency andinter-region boundary lengths or dissimilarity as in [1].
A technique related to thresholding, since it operates on agrayscale image, is watershed computation [2]. This techniquesegments an image into several catchment basins, which arethe regions of an image (interpreted as a height field orlandscape) where rain would flow into the same lake. Anefficient way to compute such regions is to start flooding thelandscape at all of the local minima and to label ridgeswherever different evolving components meet. The wholealgorithm can be implemented using a priority queue of pixelsand breadth-first search [2]Since images rarely have dark regions separated by lighterridges, watershed segmentation is usually applied to asmoothed version of the gradient magnitude image (whichalso makes it usable with colour images). This ends up findingsmooth regions separated by visible (higher gradient)boundaries. Since such boundaries are what active contoursusually follow, pre-computing such a segmentation usingeither watershed or the related
technique is oftenused in active contour algorithms as in [3]. Unfortunately,watershed segmentation associates a unique region with eachlocal minimum, which can lead to over-segmentation, [4].Watershed segmentation is therefore often used as part of aninteractive system, where the user first marks seed locations(with a click or a short stroke) that correspond to the centresof different desired components. Fig. 1 shows the results of images after going through watershed transformation.
Fig. 1 a)The original image of famous cameraman.tif b)Thecameraman.tif after watershed transformation, it can be observed that it hasbeen over-segmented and the background is not identifiable
Furthermore, if there is an image region, in which there iscontinuous change in shades of gray levels, just like a gradienttextured image, the watershed is observed to be unable todetect it as an independent segment. Similarly, as thewatershed works on immersion of topographic image throughwater, it is also unable to properly detect the objects, whichhave granulated colour or outlook. It means that, when anobject has a colour which has all gray levels randomlydistributed over its body, the watershed also finds it hard todeclare it as an independent region. This remains the case, nomatter how much granulated, the coloured object isdistinguishable from its vicinity through human visual system.One way can be to pass the image through the averaging filter,as it would subdue the object’s granular shade. Even after thismodification in procedure, it has been observed that,
watershed technique doesn’t declare it as an independentsegment. Fig.2 illustrates this problem. Here we have animage with 3 distinct regions. On the left side, we have aregion in which the shade of the region is continuouslydecreasing. Then, there is a second region in the right, within,which there is a region that possesses a shade, which iscontinuously and randomly varying. Human visual systemeasily distinguishes, that there are three regions in this image,but it has been a great challenge for computer visionalgorithms.
Fig. 2 a) The original showing three distinct regions with one segmenthaving continuous shade, the other with granular shade b)The image afterpassing through watershed transformation technique
Graph-based Segmentation
While many merging algorithms simply apply a fixed rule togroup pixels and regions together, [1] present a mergingalgorithm that uses
relative dissimilarities
between regions todetermine which ones should be merged, which produces analgorithm that provably optimizes a global grouping metric.They start with a pixel-to-pixel dissimilarity measure
such as intensity differences between N8 neighbors.(Alternatively, they also use the joint feature space distancesintroduced by Comaniciu and Meer, [5]). In the proposedalgorithm, this approach of finding relative dissimilaritiesbetween regions is taken and modified such that it not onlycounts on dissimilarities, but also on the relative and sufficientsimilarities of adjacent regions to give finalized version of segmented image.II.
 In the watershed transform, the starting point of thealgorithm is taken as the topographic interpretation of theimage, which is a 3-D graph, with x and y coordinates of theimage placed on the horizontal plane and in the verticaldirection, corresponding intensity levels of the image areplotted. In this way, we get an interpretation in which highintensity values of the images can be observed in terms of peaks. The low intensity values can be observed in terms of valleys and the pixels with intermediate intensities can beviewed as slopes to the peaks. This is quite an efficient way of observing image such that we can have an idea of the image’sgradients as well. The whole watershed technique is based onthe immersion or flooding of this artificial landscape in water,which is followed by detection of edges and regions whichsurvive this flooding. Here, the total points can be divided intothree main categories. a)Points belonging to a regionalminimum. b) The catchment basins which are the points atwhich a drop of water, if placed at any of those locations,would fall to a single minimum. c) Watershed lines will becombination of points at which water will be equally likely tofall to more than one such minimum. Once these points arefound, the decisions of regions are made utilizingcomputations based on neighbourhood connectivity andsorting. The mathematical details of this algorithm areprovided in [2] & [4].III.
 In this part, the proposed sequence of algorithm ispresented in detail. In the first step, the image I(x,y) is takenas an input to the algorithm. The image is first passed throughLaplacian and averaging filters. Laplacian filter is a veryefficient technique for edge detection as it highlights andsegments parts which have high gradient. The averaging ormean filter is applied to reduce noisy part of the image and tosmooth out the parts of the images which have high granularshade. Then this image
obtained after passing theoriginal image through laplacian and averaging filters isgiven to watershed transform. The watershed transformedimage is in a form which shows the proposed edges in lowgray scale levels. The watershed transformed image
isthen thresholded in order to give clear edge points, i.e. theedge points which depict boundaries of objects and have grayscale level of zero. This thresholded image is now
 The resultant image from the previous transformations
are processed through the proposed algorithm. In thisalgorithm the edge points from
are extracted andstored in an array
in which
is the numberof edge points and are number of rows in the array. Thesecond order ‘2’ is the number of columns of the array andstore x and y coordinates of the edge points. The array
is used for the analysis of the original inputimage
again. From the original image
, thegrayscale levels of the pixel points, pointed by
are taken. Finally, the whole of the image isscanned again at each location pointed by
and a vicinity check is performed. Thisvicinity check inspects that whether the pixel points lyingadjacent to the
declared by the first part of the algorithm, have sufficient intensity differences withneighbouring pixels or not. For each of the
if the difference
is found to be less than a threshold value, the
are modified to new coordinate values. Otherwise, the
This process is repeated for every single of the edge points.IV.
 Fig.3 depicts the steps involved in the proposed algorithm
Fig. 3 The Flowchart of the algorithm
 The results show that the proposed algorithm is able todetect distinct segments of images which have grayscalelevels which are constantly and continuously changing, aswell as those which have granular colours. Moreover, theproposed algorithm reduces the effect of over segmentationsuch that the resultant image possesses a distinct marker likestructure around prominent and foreground objects. Fig. 4shows the results of the image shown in fig. 2 after processedby the proposed algorithm. It can be observed that thealgorithm successfully differentiates the three segments in theimage.
Fig. 4 a) The original image b) The image after going through theproposed algorithm
Fig. 5 depicts the image of a person in which watershedsegmentation is unable to clearly segment all the parts of theimage. The proposed algorithm differentiates the majorsegments and also creates the marker like structure around theedge of the face of the man.Fig. 5 a) Image b) After Watershed c) After ProposedalgorithmSimilarly, the proposed algorithm performs in the samemanner with the cameraman.tif shown in Fig.1. Fig. 6 depictsthat how the proposed algorithm is able to distinguish thecamera rods, along with the background and sketches amarker around the boundary of the cameraman.Fig. 6 a) The cameraman Image b) After processingthrough the proposed algorithmVI.
 The algorithm presented in this paper gives the intendedresults quite efficiently, however, the algorithm is to be testedwith large number of images to prove its use for medicalimages as well. Further changes in the algorithm on hit andtrial basis can be performed to remove tiny grains from theresult images which appear around the judged edges.R
“Felzenszwalb, P. F. and Huttenlocher, D. P. (2004b). Efficient graph-based image segmentation. International Journal of Computer Vision,59(2), 167–181.”[2]
(“Vincent, L. and Soille, P. (1991). Watersheds in digital spaces: Anefficient algorithm based on immersion simulations. IEEETransactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 13(6),583–596.”)[3]
Mortensen, E. N. and Barrett, W. A. (1999). Toboggan-basedintelligent scissors with a four parameter edge model. In IEEEComputer Society Conference on Computer Vision and PatternRecognition (CVPR’99), pages 452–458, Fort Collins.[4]
Beare, R. (2006). A locally constrained watershed transform. IEEETransactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 28(7),1063–1074.
Application of Laplacian andAveraging FilterWatershedTransformationThresholding of the WatershedTransformedimage
Edge Points
Pixel Vales atEdge Points
Subtraction of the pixelvalues at edge points andthe pixel values at theirneighbouring pixels
Maintain Edge PointsUpdate Edge Points

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