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You are on page 1of 9

Budapest, Hungary

Types of local image features

Edges, lines, corners, blobs

Basic Algorithms for Digital Image Analysis: Criteria for good edge filters

with help of Attila Lerch, Judit Verestoy, Zoltan Megyesi, Zsolt Janko Edge localisation

and Levente Hajder Non-maxima suppression

Hysteresis thresholding

http://visual.ipan.sztaki.hu

Zero-crossing edge detector

Image edges are intensity discontinuities

Edge Line Blob Corner Physical edges are surface discontinuities

Example: Edges of shadows are not surface discontinuities

Basic image features.

Importance of intensity edges: Human eye detects them in hardware, at the

initial level of visual processing.

Edge: drastic change of intensity across object contour

intensity

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Principles of edge detection

original image

edge orientation edge orientation

original image edge magnitude edge orientation edge map

Edge filter responds to edges and yields Example of edge detection by 3 3 Prewitt operator.

Edge magnitude: strength of edge, a measure of local contrast Edge orientation is circular data; shown intensity-coded.

Edge orientation

Remove noisy edges

Remove phantom edges, obtain thin contours

Obtain edge map: a binary edge image.

Note: Noise smoothing may be applied before edge filtering. Intensity profiles along lower (left) and upper (right) lines drawn in original image

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edge normal

direction

Edge filters are high-pass filters using spatial derivatives of intensity function to

edge suppress regions of constant intensity

orientation

The following operators are applied in edge filtering:

Edge normal, edge direction and edge orientation.

Intensity gradient is vector composed of the first order partial derivatives:

Edge normal: Direction of maximum intensity variation at edge point. !

Unit vector perpendicular to the edge . f f

f (x, y) = ,

x y

Edge direction: Direction tangent to the contour

Laplace operator is scalar composed of the second order partial derivatives:

Unit vector parallel to the edge

Convention needed for unumbiguous definition: e.g., dark on the left . 2f 2f

f (x, y) = +

x2 y 2

Also used: Edge orientation, which is circular data interpreted modulo .

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Criteria for good edge filters

f(x)

P

1. No response to flat regions Sum of mask values is zero: r,c w(r, c) =0

df

__

dx 2. Isotropy: Response must be independent of edge orientation

2

d___

f 3. Good detection: Minimise the probabilities of

dx 2

detecting spurious edges caused by noise (false positives)

missing real edges (false negatives)

A signal and its first and second derivatives.

4. Good localisation: Detected edges must be as close as possible to true edges.

Edges are located at 5. Single response: Minimise number of false local maxima around true edge.

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W1

object

W2

original image isotropic edge filter anisotropic edge filter

The isotropic edge filter yields uniform edge magnitude for all directions.

The same piece of contours is detected in window W1 and window W2.

The anisotropic edge filter yields non-uniform magnitude. In this illustration, Phantom edges parallel to true edges, thick contours

the response depends on the edge orientation as follows:

The response depends on the overlap between the window and the contour.

Directions 45 k are slightly amplified

Directions 90 k are slightly suppressed The multiple response is typical for all window-based detection tasks.

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Gradient edge filters The meaning of the gradient vector

Assume that the intensity function f (x, y) is sufficiently smooth. The intensity

gradient is the following vector:

!

. f f

f (x, y) = , = fx, fy

x y

original image intensity surface thresholded image

The magnitude M (x, y) and the orientation (x, y) of the gradient vector are fastest growth

obtained as follows: edge

direction intensity surface

q

M (x, y) = kf (x, y)k = fx2 + fy2

gradient =

fx edge normal

(x, y) = arctan

fy level lines

The gradient vector gives the direction and the magnitude of the fastest growth

Intensity surface of an edge and its gradient.

of intensity.

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In discrete images, partial derivatives are approximated by finite differences.

1. Mirror symetry with respect to (wrt) the edge normal:

The following family of gradient masks are used to compute the components

of the gradient vector: Gx(1, c) = Gx(3, c) and similar for Gy

Gx Gy

1 0 1 1 2p 1 2. Antisymmetry wrt the edge orientation

1 1

p

2p 0 p2 p

0 0 0

1 0 1 1 p2 1 Gx(r, 1) = Gx(r, 3), Gx(r, 2) = 0 and similar for Gy

Different values of the parameter p result in different versions of the masks: requried for precise localisation of edges

assumes antisymmetry of intensity profile of edge (sigmoid shape)

Prewitt Sobel Isotropic

mirror symmetry wrt edge normal antisymmetry of edge profile

p 3 4 2+ 2

When p = 2 + 2, the mask weights reflect the proximity to the mask origin.

The operator becomes less sensitive to edge orientation.

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P P

3. No response to flat regions: r,c Gx (r, c) = r,c Gy (r, c) = 0.

The Canny edge detector

follows from the antisymmetry

The Canny edge detector is optimal for noisy step edge under the following

assumptions:

4. Normalised response to ideal step edge of unit height: For such edge, the

output value should be 1. The edge filter is linear.

Using these constraints, the above family of gradient masks can be derived from The image noise is additive, white (uncorrelated) and Gaussian.

a general unconstrained 3 3 mask: 9 free parameters reduce to 1.

The optimality criterion used by Canny combines

The most frequently used are the Prewitt and the Sobel operators whose

X-masks are as follows: good detection and

Prewitt Sobel

1 0 1 1 0 1 good localisation

1 1

3

1 0 1 4

2 0 2

To satisfy the single response criterion, two post-processing (edge localisation)

1 0 1 1 0 1

operations are used:

The Prewitt operator is the simplest and the fastest. Hysteresis thresholding

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A practical approximation of the Canny filter An efficient implementation of the Canny filter

The original optimal edge filter is quite complicated. A simple practical An efficient implementation uses

approximation is as follows:

the commutativity and associativity of linear filters:

1. Apply Gaussian filter obtaining smoothed image g(x, y) = f (x, y) wG(x, y; )

The Gaussian parameter determines the size of the edge filter f (x, y) wG(x, y) = wG(x, y) f (x, y) = wG(x, y) f (x, y)

2. Apply gradient operator g(x, y) and calculate edge magnitude and and the separability of the Gaussian filter:

orientation.

wG(x, y) = wG(x) wG(y).

The scale parameter is selected based on

the desired level of detail: fine edges vs global edges;

masks.

the noise level;

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Edge localisation Non-maxima suppression

Input: edge magnitude M (x, y) and edge orientation (x, y) in each pixel of Due to the multiple response, edge magnitude M (x, y) may contain wide ridges

the image. around the local maxima.

Output: Binary edge map, with 1s indicating edges, 0s indicating no edges. Non-maxima suppression removes the non-maxima pixels preserving the

connectivity of the contours.

Localisation selects those maxima of M (x, y) that correspond to true edge pixels.

Algorithm 1: Non-maxima suppression

Can be applied after any edge filter that computes a measure of edge strength

and provides edge orientation.

1. From each position (x, y), step in the two directions perpendicular to edge

Gradient: Canny, Prewitt orientation (x, y).

Non-gradient: For example, Mero and Vassy

2. Denote the inital pixel (x, y) by C, the two neighbouring pixels in the

Includes the following operations: perpendicular directions by A and B.

Non-maxima suppression to remove phantom edges and, if possible, obtain 3. If the M (A) > M (C) or M (B) > M (C), discard the pixel (x, y) by setting

1-pixel wide contours M (x, y) = 0.

Hysteresis thresholding to remove noisy maxima without breaking the

contours

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direction

pixel A M(C)>M(A)

M(C)>M(B) The output of the non-maxima suppression still contains noisy local maxima.

pixel B

pixel C Contrast (edge strength) may be different in different points of the contour.

Illustration to the non-maxima suppression. Pixels A and B are deleted because Careful thresholding of M (x, y) is needed to remove these weak edges while

M (C) > M (A) and M (C) > M (B). Pixel C is not deleted. preserving the connectivity of the contours.

MN M S (x, y).

edge magnitude intensity profile (resized) result of NMS A pixel (x, y) is called strong if MN M S (x, y) > Thigh.

A pixel (x, y) is called weak if MN M S (x, y) Tlow .

Thinning wide contours in edge magnitude images by non-maxima suppression. All other pixels are called candidate pixels.

The intensity profile along the indicated line is shown resized for better visibility.

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Algorithm 2: Hysteresis thresholding C4

C3

C2

weak edge

1. In each position of (x, y), discard the pixel (x, y) if it is weak; output the pixel

if it is strong. strong edge

C1

candidate edge

2. If the pixel is a candidate, follow the chain of connected local maxima in both

directions along the edge, as long as MN M S > Tlow . Illustration to the hysteresis thresholding. The candidate edges C1 and C2 are

output, the candidate edges C3 and C4 are not.

3. If the starting candidate pixel (x, y) is connected to a strong pixel, output

this candidate pixel; otherwise, do not output the candidate pixel.

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Zero-crossing edge detector Implementation of the zero crossing filter: Gaussian smoothing followed by

Laplacian filtering.

Steep edge Blurred edge

Gaussian filter, we obtain the convolution mask of the zero-crossing operator,

called Laplacian-of-Gaussian (LoG):

f(x)

r2

2

r

wZ (r) = C 1 exp

+ + 2 2 2

df

__ 0 0

dx - - C: normalisation constant

Double edge r2 = x2 + y 2: square distance from centre of mask

2

+ + is scale parameter: the smaller the the finer the edges obtained

_ d___f

dx 2 0 0 -

Zero crossing - Discrete zero-crossing mask: Threshold wZ (r) at a small level.

Larger mask obtained for larger : For example, when = 4 the size of the

Left: Principles of zero-crossing edge detector. mask is about 40 pixels.

Right: Simple masks for detection of zero-crossings.

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Another, more efficient but approximate, implementation of the zero-crossing

filter is the difference of two separable Gaussian filters, called DoG.

edge detectors.

For more precise localisation, one can locally approximate output of LoG filter

by facets (flat patches), then find zero-crossings analytically.

=5 = 10

= 15 = 20 absolute value of filter output: dark lines are contours. LoG zero was obtained

Shape of the Laplacian-of-Gaussian (LoG) filter for different . with removal of weak edges, DoG zero without removal.

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In principle, this may help in contour following

In practice, many spurious loops appear Prewitt 3 3 Mer

o-Vassy 7 7 LoG 21 21

This tree-like data structure facilitates structural analysis of image

Canny 3 3 Canny 7 7 Canny 25 25

Non-maxima suppression and hysteresis threshoding are not applicable

Examples of edge detection by different operators. The LoG result was obtained

Other ways of post-processing to remove unrealiable edges can be used

with removal of weak edges. Mero-Vassy is a non-gradient edge detector.

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31

Summary of edge detection

3 3 gradient operators (Prewitt, Sobel) are simple and fast. Used when

Fine edges are only needed

Noise level is low

to detect fine as well as rough edges

at different noise levels

provide edge orientation;

need localisation: non-maxima suppression, hysteresis threshoding.

is supported by neurophysiological experiments;

was popular in the 1980s ;

today, less frequently used in practice.

33

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