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Image Segmentation


Definition and methods classification Detection of discontinuities Point detection Line detection Edge detection Edge linking and boundary detection Thresholding Region-based segmentation


Definition: Segmentation subdivides an image into its constituent regions or objects. Basic formulation: Let R represent the entire spatial region occupied by an image. Image segmentation is a process that partitions R into n sub-regions, R1, R2, , Rn, such that a)

b) Ri is a connected set. i = 1, 2, , n
c) Ri Rj = for all i and j, i j d) Q (Ri) = TRUE for i = 1, 2, , n e) Q = FALSE for any adjacent regions Ri and Rj where Q(Rk) is a logical predicate defined over the points in set Rk

Methods Classification

Classification: based on one of two basic categories dealing with properties of intensity values discontinuity and similarity discontinuity-based: the partition of an image is based on abrupt changes in intensity, such as point, line and edge. similarity-based: partitions an image into regions that are similar according to a set of predefined criteria. Thresholding, region growing, and region splitting and merging are examples.

Detection of discontinuities: background

Edge pixels: pixels at which the intensity of an image function changes abruptly Edges / Edge segments: sets of connected edge pixels Edge detectors: local image processing methods designed to detect edge pixels Line: an edge segment in which the intensity of the background on either side of the line is either much higher or much lower than the intensity of the line pixels Isolated point: a line whose length and width are equal to one pixel

Detection of discontinuities: background (contd)

First-order derivative Second-order derivative Requirements

f f '( x) f ( x 1) f ( x) x
2 f f ( x 1) f ( x 1) 2 f ( x) 2 x

first order derivative

Must be zero in areas of constant intensity Must be nonzero at the onset of an intensity step or ramp Must be nonzero at points along an intensity ramp

second order derivative

Must be zero in areas of constant intensity Must be nonzero at the onset and end of an intensity step or ramp Must be zero along intensity ramps

Detection of discontinuities: background (contd)

First-order derivatives generally produce thicker edges in an image Second-order derivatives have a stronger response to fine detail, such as thin lines, isolated points, and noise Second-order derivatives produce a double-edge response at ramp and step transitions in intensity The sign of the second derivative can be used to determine whether a transition into an edge is from light to dark or dark to light