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38 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS A N D MACHINE INTELLIGENCE. VOL. 12. NO I .

JANUARY 1990

Morphological Shape Decomposition

Abstract-Shape description is a very important issue in pictorial object [l] is the locus of the maximal inscribable disks in
pattern analysis and recognition. Therefore, many theories exist that the object. It is given by the following formula [ 11:
attempt to explain different aspects of the problem. The technique pre-
sented here decomposes a binary shape into a union of simple binary
shapes. The decomposition is shown to be unique and invariant to
SK(X) = U Sr(X)
r>O
translation, rotation, and scaling. The techniques used in the decom-
position are based on mathematical morphology. The shape descrip-
tion produced can be used in object recognition and in binary image
coding.
where X is the object, S K ( X ) is its skeleton, Sr ( X ) is a
Index Terms-Mathematical morphology, pattern recognition of bi- skeleton subset corresponding to object points having
nary objects, shape decomposition, shape representation, skeletons. maximal inscribable disk of radius r, rB is an open disk
of radius r , and drB is a closed disk of radius dr. Defi-
I. INTRODUCTION nition of the morphological set operations, which appear
in (1) can be found in [l], [13], [14]. The object recon-
S HAPE description is a very important issue in digital
image processing and in pictorial pattern recognition
[1]-[4]. It provides descriptions of objects according to
struction is given by the formula:
X = U S r ( X ) e rB (2)
their shape, which can be used for pictorial object rec- r>O
ognition. Therefore, one of the most important applica-
where d denotes Minkowski set addition.
tions of shape description is in robotic vision. Shape de- Thus, the only information required for object recon-
scription can also provide techniques suitable for image struction are the coordinates of the skeleton points and the
coding that permit image transmission at low bit rates. radius r of the maximal inscribable disk corresponding to
Such techniques have primarily been applied to binary im- this point (called the quench function). Skeletons have
ages [5]. A multitude of techniques has been developed been used for object recognition and for image coding.
in the recent years for shape description [3], [4]. A cate- They introduce great data reduction since they require
gorization of these techniques has been proposed in [6]. only line coordinates and the corresponding radii. Im-
There exist external and internal shape description algo-
proved skeletonization employing minimal skeletons fur-
rithms. The former ones are based on the description of
ther reduces the data required [8], [ 151.
the shape contour (e.g., Fourier descriptors, B-spline de-
Shape decomposition is a different approach, which tries
scription). The latter ones are mainly area descriptor al-
to decompose an object X into a union of subsets X , ,
gorithms (e.g., quad-trees, skeletons, shape decomposi-
tion algorithms). A further distinction involves the type
. . . , X , . Such a decomposition must have the following
desirable properties [6]:
of the method employed. The spatial domain approaches
1) It should conform with our intuitive notions of
transform the input image into an alternative spatial do-
“simpler” components of a “complex” picture.
main representation (e.g., skeletons). In this case, object
2) It should have a well defined mathematical charac-
recognition is accomplished by syntactic or structural
terization.
analysis [7]. The scalar transform techniques map the im-
3) Its characterization must be subject independent.
age into an attribute vector description. In this case, clas-
sical pattern recognition techniques are used for object
4) The complexity of the representation X 1 , - xrl
9

must be comparable with the complexity of the original
recognition.
description of X .
We shall discuss in more detail two internal shape rep-
5 ) It must be invariant under translation, scaling, and
resentation techniques: skeletons [ 11-[3] and shape de-
rotation.
composition, because they are closely related to the al-
6) It should allow arbitrary amounts of detail to be
gorithm presented in this paper. The skeleton of a binary
computed and also allow abstraction from detail.
7) It should be fast and unique.
Manuscript received November 19, 1986; revised June 30, 1989. 8) It should be stable under noise.
I. Pitas is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of One problem in shape decomposition is the definition
Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54006, Greece. of the “simple” components. Usually they are convex
A . N. Venetsanopoulos is with the Department of Electrical Engineer-
ing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont. M5S 14A, Canada. polygons [3]. However, the results of the decomposition
IEEE Log Number 8931861. do not always correspond to the human intuitive shape

0162-8828/90/0100-0038$01.OO 0 1990 IEEE

and the procedure is repeated until the remainder of the The proof of these properties can be found in [12]. We define a set Xi to be simple if it is equal to a ognition techniques are applied as the last stage of the structuring element B of size rj: analysis. ties: The locus of the centers of the maximal inscribable ob- a) “Simplicity” of the sets X I . contained in Xi is one of the translates of riB. Let X E G be an open nonempty xi = ( ( x . Therefore. The first set of the decomposition is sub. the results are not always Property c) is of limited importance for certain appli- unique. The object decomposition is given in Section VI. The second set is obtained in the fol. It provides greater data compression than the skeletonization and. e. The set of is a connected open set. bx. A discrete mor. even if we restrict X I to be maximally convex ob. rotation. Li is a set b) Uniqueness. MORPHOLOGICAL DECOMPOSITION tor” object r i B along the spine. Examples and con. E G(R“). The first and second sets of the Property 3: If Xi is a Blum ribbon. we have skeletonization techniques. jects. R 2 . If the generator is a disk.X . . It is given by the following recursive relation: Let G ( R ” )be the class of the topological open sets on the Euclidean space R ” . ity” of the shape of an object. Morphological decomposition of an object into a union the object is called “Blum ribbon” [12]. algorithm. of lines and/or isolated points.PITAS AND VENETSANOPOULOS: MORPHOLOGICAL SHAPE DECOMPOSITION 39 representation. The spatial occupancy of this set is the shape to be decomposed.” The object is generated by moving the center of the “genera- 11. jects r i B is given by Li = ( X . 1. the definition (6) coincides with (4). where L is a super-surface in R“ and a line or a point in phological decomposition algorithm is presented in Sec. In many cases. described by ( 6 ) is a “ribbon-like object” [12] and it is clusions are given in Sections VI1 and VIII. whose quench function is con- maximal inscribable disks in the object X . . the sim- These are the main disadvantages of the decomposition plest possible object is the structuring element B . X .l (if it has more than one connected component). and Xi = B o B o * o B ( r i times) (5) scaling..x . This set is the first cluster of direct consequence of its skeleton properties. for image coding. and scale invariance. tion IV.) e rills. the decomposition. However. proven later on that an object decomposition into a union vantages over the known shape decomposition and of simple sets Xi is not always unique. = L Q riB (6) properties are analyzed in Section 111. cations.X / . When ri is an integer (4) is equivalent to the following Such an analysis is easily performed by morphological relation. . a graph (in the space R ) . Its x. This set is the second clus. Its computational complexity is studied in Sec. n (7) X = U X. The object description based on morphological translation of the object riB along the line L . Syntactic pattern rec. ter of the decomposition. the spine and the maximal inscribable disks are subtracted from the object set of generators of Xi are uniquely determined. in certain cases. Such a techniques. to generalize the notion of the simple set as follows: The outline of the paper is as follows. For our approach. various decomposition algorithms structuring element may be a circle. a triangle have been proposed.B. (4) component and to analyze an image as a union of disks. scribable disks in the remaining of the object. Property 1 : If Xi is simply connected and its border lowing way. An alternative definition of the morphological shape de- . the derivation of the decomposition There exists no unique definition of the word “simplic- is rather tedious and the computational complexity high. =~ ( X . . if B is bounded and convex (which is valid for techniques [ l ] . which are maximum radius. translation. shown in Fig. Our approach is to use the disk as the “simplest” object x. any maximal disk contained in Xi is tangent tracted from the object.. = r. Furthermore. Section I1 de- scribes the morphological decomposition algorithm. r=l X. The Blum ribbon of disks is performed in the following way. . respectively. It will be tional complexity. The line L (in R 2 ) is its “spine. or a cube (in the space R ).g. object representation is constructed. etc. is smooth. that have Property 2: If Xi is a Blum ribbon. The objects described by (6) are produced by a simple tion V. .Xir-l)riB set containing no half space. and invariant under rotation. every maximal disk the maximum radius. Therefore our approach has several ad. where Q denotes Minkowski addition [l]. (3) The radius ri at step i is the radius of the maximal inscrib- able objects riB in any of the connected components of X The representation (3) must have the following proper. a square. that have the stant. object is an empty set. If L is a point. The problem is to find O<jsi a set of open sets { X . Having defined some basic notions.. we proceed to a scribed in a mathematical way by using mathematical formal description of the morphological decomposition morphology [ 11. has low computa. Given the decomposition.~e) r i F ) Q r . } whose union is X : XO = 0. is found. Such a representation is shown to be most practical cases) : unique. is found. to b . a sphere. Therefore it has the following properties. The whole procedure can be de. c) Translation. Then the set of the maximal in.

g. ~ ' ] into itself is idempotent. PROPERTIES OF THE MORPHOLOGICAL SHAPE logical operation in the sense described in [l]. X:.A4 of Fig..- If the loci L. . and the radii r l . e. - . Li = Xi e r i g s . and X i . 1. There exist points belonging to X .BS Proposition 7: The mapping X + X i . e riBs = [ ( ( x. Their proofs are simple and have been omit. Morphological shape decomposition is not a morpho- 111. * * * Xi. Such points are the points A . . are known.. A 3 . 3 (10) . (b) Graph representation. . The two first steps ( i = 1. .B.X / . cause in that case all sets are both open and closed. ri 7 cording to definition ( 6 ) . . 9 L~ = X . A*. . 2. Morphological shape decomposition satisfies the desir- . are inacces- sible by morphological decomposition. VOL. the tangent points of two sets X i . Euclidean topology. problems for the morphological significance of the de- phological decomposition. 2.. can be found by (9). * .. be- 2(a). . a disk in R". O<jsi Equation (8) is connected to (7) by the following rela- x x24 (a) (b) x23 Fig. X 2 . a set - where ( ) r i B s denotes set closing by riBS[l]. using 2(b). * . ~ ] . . . -. i E N from G ( R " ) e riBS = [ ( x. * . NO. 2 ) composition for the R" case. . (a) Morphological decomposition of a rectangular parallelogram. . o rjB Proposition 1 : The object decomposition X. These properties will be given here as lated [ l ] . no points are inaccessible. Proposition 5: The set decomposition X1. . exist for the decomposition of discretized objects. is antiextensive. .. . I. ac- . global knowledge of the object X . 2 . ted. L. The graph representation of X i is shown in Fig. to illustrate the mor. r. at infinity. 7 by: . O<. Thus.. are known. 12. of inaccessible points is obtained.Xi. is unique. They are valid for the decomposition of open non- tions: empty sets X .40 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS A N D MACHINE INTELLIGENCE. . X i .. * * * Xi. This fact poses some An example is given in Fig. which cannot be in- = (X . composition which is fully equivalent to (7) is given by the following recursive formula: U Lj. Xi = L. that contain no half-space and are defined on the Euclidean space R". Thus. X. If the sets X1. is rotation invariant if the structuring element B is It can be easily proven that (8) and (10) are fully equiv. X: = U Lj o r. . .l ) e r . is translation and scale invariant. Definition of a Blum ribbon. the sets X1. e rjBS cluded in the morphological decomposition sets X i .~e) r j B s ) o r . . the center loci and the radii can be found Proposition 4: The object decomposition XI. (9) The sequence of radii ri decreases monotonically. Such a problem does not and the corresponding decomposition are shown in Fig.ji Proposition 2: The sets Xi given by (7) are simple. * * * . This fol- DECOMPOSITION lows from the fact that operations described by (7) require The morphological shape decomposition possesses sev. * . i # j . alent: Proposition 6: The set decomposition XI.x : . JANUARY 1990 Lo=0 L: = Fig. * * x. Therefore the local eral desirable properties that make it suitable for shape knowledge principal of morphological operations is vio- representation. X i .! given by (7) increases monotonically and is upper bounded by X . propositions. Proposition 3: The object decomposition XI.

. If we still want to decompose X into objects invariant under simple transformations according to Prop. It is also lated point. . ean topology. IV . structuring elements in Z 2 are shown in Fig.. All subsets of Z" are both closed and open. DISCRETEMORPHOLOGICAL SHAPEDECOMPOSITION Let lim X. bounded. objects X i conform to our intuitive notion of simplicity.The mor. . In this case the morphological decomposition algorithm composition (to be analyzed in the next section). a point zi of Liand Xi: tends to the limit X according to Proposition 1.. is not unique either. niB is a simple element of size ni. shape decomposition for shapes over the Euclidean grid Z".Simple decomposition when they are contaminated by noise. Let a subset X of 2" represent a discrete binary image. ... xi. = { zi }. Xiis finite. The discrete notion of a simple object is Proposition 8 proves that the first step of morphological given by the following relation: decomposition is lower-semicontinuous. (13) straction by truncating the sequence X . in semicontinuous if most practical cases we work with digitized shapes and images.. The noise properties of the morphological decomposi- tion cannot be easily studied. bounded set X . In the discrete morphological de. It can be used in applications where uniqueness . . . invariant. L is not restricted to an iso- objects which do not contain sharp contours. Let us suppose that X . In this case Xiis cally and it is object independent. These objects are simple according to (4)only if the line The decomposition algorithm is well defined mathemati. * }. Therefore we have to define the morphological x c UX. -.g. Furthermore. Its results are unique and they are suitable for object description and recognition. Therefore it makes no difference if X is open tinuity properties of the morphological decomposition is or closed. This is. Xi = Li o niB (16) ties too (e. . * .. -+ tinuous mapping from the class of open sets G ( R " )to the . of shape decomposition defined over R". zi E Li.e.* 7 Xni. it con- The morphological decomposition algorithm (7) de. a limited result. where Li is a subset of Z" of zero thickness (i. of course. We further assume that X is nonempty and not easy. - * * . lower semicontin. becomes: quence X1.. - . the investigation of the con. Some other shape de- scription techniques have rather poor continuity proper. e.. skeletons are lower-semicontinuous mappings [ 11). Therefore the continuity of the It can be easily proven that the decomposition (14) is morphological decomposition must be studied. it can represent the object X in any desirable level of ab. sets that converges to X and that each set X.g. Morpho. X.i.and upper. * . Only the following proposition has been proven.. is a sequence of is not of crucial importance. in binary image coding. sists of lines or isolated points). Liconsists of a point zi. Therefore. However. = riBzl. . generally speaking. The representation XI. is lower-semicon.PITAS AND VENETSANOPOULOS: MORPHOLOGICAL SHAPE DECOMPOSITION 41 able decomposition properties described in Section I. Usually the noise properties The choice of zi from Li is not unique and therefore the of a shape description method are closely connected to its decomposition XI.e. Xi. at least for However. * . A more Therefore the noise properties of morphological decom. ziE Li computational complexity is studied in a subsequent sec- tion. Xi. the se. The number K of these subsets is finite for a class of closed sets F ( R " ) .xi.. Xi = riBz. * . ri ) is less than the complexity of the Xi = riBzl.. The complexity of the the simple object riB translated at point zi: - representation of XI. continuity properties. Its x. This fact suggests where B is a discrete structuring element of size one and that binary objects X may have different morphological niis an integer. general definition of a simple discrete shape is given by: position needs further investigation. . In this case.The morphological decomposition algorithm is very fast (especially on dedicated computer architectures). (12) original description of X as a set of points. is to decompose X into a union of simple subsets X1. . ... . = { Xnl. Xi= niB = B B o * e . bounded by X and that it is translation. o B (nitimes) (15) uity is only a weak type of continuity. L. The problem of morphological decomposition Proposition 8: The mapping X L . . using Euclid- respectively. has a mor- phological decomposition X. * * * . . Xiof the form (12). and scale logical decomposition is a mapping X + X = { XI. 3. In the last two sections we have dealt with the problem phological decomposition is called lower.. x 3 GX". we have to choose (arbitrarily or not) ositions 4 and 5. rotation.and X. abstraction can also be performed by truncating the sequence XI.by means of the disk loci and radii (Li. to a desirable length i. * * * }.. be the intersection and the union of the adherent points of the mappings X. Unfortunately. + X. Zi. Xi. The composes X into a set of simple objects given by (9).

if the structuring element can L.. scale and translation invariant. This number is reduced. the structuring ele- O<jsi ment B and the result. (19) L. original image.1. shown in Fig. the number of parallel AND/OR operations is P ( B ) = M - &=0 1. lular array or bit-plane computers [lo].decomposition algorithm the area of the difference X - proximation to the disk is a hexagon.X. VOL. I .. The result plane holds the parallel Stopping condition: ( X .By using the decomposition (20). We assume that the object X has a does not support rotation at arbitrary angles 8. Having described the way erosion and dilation are im- ple.. two successive erosions/dilations by B1and B2. parallel AND/OR operations is reduced from 20 to 12. There are two reasons for this. B in In this case. After all the points of B have been covered.. ( 18) B = B1 @ B2. Therefore they are omitted. is N. b) The objects XI are simple.. (20) c) It is unique. has the follow- XK has the following properties: ing decomposition: a) X i is bounded by X. The number of logical decomposition is the following: parallel AND/OR operations P ( B ) for a structuring ele- ment B depends on the size of the structuring element and on its ability to be decomposed in smaller structuring ele- ments. Thus only a finite num- ber of translates of X are required. NI erosions and N..= U 4 planes are required for the image X.. SQUARE..+. = 0. Therefore.. . Its mathematical formulation is given by: having a finite number of points.X:) = f ( i ) M 2 . . when b sweeps B [ l ] . CIRCLE = SQUARE @ RHOMBUS. .Xk # 0. The image plane X is shifted in parallel to the result plane according to the x(. Three image bit x. antiex. This implementation is well suited for cel- A fully equivalent formulation of the discrete morpho. the structuring element CIRCLE (Fig. In certain cases X . BZ: Stopping condition: LK+i = 0. . The second surface of M 2 pixels and that it is decomposed into K sim- problem is that there is no exact equivalent of a disk in ple sets X.X:. the closest ap. the erosion/dilation by B is decomposed into object X . COMPUTATIONAL COMPLEXITY OF THE DISCRETE .. and that after each step i of the to the disk.. algorithm (17) exhibits some robustness to rotation.1 Ii IK .-l) e n i B s ) e niB the erosion/dilation procedure follows. A brief description of Xi = ((X .Xk) e B s = 0. . However.. . required and on the way these two operations are imple- mented.+.. In this case. The struc- The discrete morphological decomposition X1.q grid. The tional complexity of the discrete morphological decom- first one is the very nature of the discrete grid Z " . Erosion and dilation of X by a structuring element B are Based on these notions we can easily find the discrete the intersection and union of all the translates X-b of X morphological decomposition algorithm based on the al. = U L.X/. turing element CIRCLE. be decomposed into the Minkowski sum of smaller struc- O<JSl turing elements B 1 .+. 42 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS A N D MACHINE INTELLIGENCE. The rotation invariance plemented. we proceed to the derivation of the computa- is no longer valid. 0 . is the locus of the maximal inscribable disks n . If the structuring element B contains M pixels. Thus the total num- composition algorithm is given in the next section... 3) is a good Area(X . In the rectangular X: is equal to: grid. ber of parallel AND/OR operations required by the de- . structuring element B . 3. .quired in each step of the algorithm. In the hexagonal 2 . The proofs of these properties are also relatively sim. respectively. and idempotent. Furthermore we assume that the vn. V . 12. . If a good approximation of the circle is used as the structuring element nB. RHOMBUS in Z2. JANUARY 1990 . 3. . the where f ( i ) is a function of the step number i. which position algorithm. MORPHOLOGICAL DECOMPOSITION ALGORITHM The discrete morphological decomposition algorithm described in the previous section is mainly composed of CIRCLE SQUARE RHOM6US erosions and dilations. its computational com- plexity depends on the number of erosions and dilations Fig. there exist several discrete approximations size of each object X.1. 0 ~ f ( i <) 1 (21) approximation of a disk in Z 2 . (17) logical AND or OR of all the shifted versions of the image bit plane. B is assumed to be a compact set gorithm (7). the required number of tensive. NO... dilations by B are re- The computational complexity of the morphological de. it ni denotes the maximal size of the maximal inscribable will contain the erosion or dilation respectively of the object ni B in the set X . Discrete structuring elements CIRCLE. ..

It approximates fairly well a disk on the rect- ing form: angular grid. . L z .X. X . (31) we know the law f ( i ) of the decrease of the area of X - X: in (21). = { I . X . 1 It Ik. * * * . shown Therefore a representation for an object X has the follow. 1 I t Ik. i = 1. ’ ’ ’ . we find: of a rectangular can be seen in Fig. 16 of the morphological de- subsets of Lil. Better approximations of the disk can be used x = {XI. . . this amount of information is rithm has computational complexity that increases almost much less than the information needed for a point-by-point linearly with the square root of the area of the object X . . are n-tuples given by (21). xi. the discrete morphological decomposition algo. Similar star-like graph representations based on polygonal object represen- tations have already been used in blood cell motion anal- ysis [ l l ] . is calculated and their differences from The worst case for (22) happens when all differences X . @ riB) = 0 f o r j # m. The following slightly different representation of the loci L. In the discrete case. VI.. = { I . iff it is a disk.absolute coordinates of I1 &( Jz . description of X . the order of magnitude of Nop is 0 ( M ). @ riB) f l (L. each of them having the size given by (23)... corresponding graph representation is star-like. 1 Ij Ik. 1. EXAMPLES MORPHOLOGICAL DECOMPOSITION The discrete morphological shape decomposition has Morphological decomposition gives us the possibility been tested on the 128 x 128 binary image shown in Fig. i. ment B used in this decomposition is the CIRCLE.1. . (32) . Lik. L3 are found by succes- .!. of its mor- . which correspond to discon. Usually. (the “body” of the object X ) are found: Therefore : _ _ _ 1.. l It Ik. (I. and the radius rj of the corresponding disks.X. in Fig. However their size is bigger than that of CIRCLE and they are insensitive to the fine details of the object X.. I . of the points of each locus L.: because f ( i ) < 1. Such a graph representation By substituting (25) into (24). 1 Ii IK . . In this case. the transmission of the. The first three simple objects X I . have as elements the co- able disk N i B having maximal size N j for the known area ordinates of their points l. as will be shown in the examples. . an exponential decrease rate f ( i ) is found: The representation (27).I1 is that it can be used for binary image coding and trans- mission. . A further advantage of representation (27). }. 4(a).PITAS AND VENETSANOPOULOS: MORPHOLOGICAL SHAPE DECOMPOSITION 43 composition algorithm is: where K NOp = 2 P ( B ) c Ni.. In this case the maximal of vector coordinates): disk N i B has size 7 L. It requires the transmission of K radii r. OBJECTREPRESENTATION BASEDON VII. 1 It Ik .. to represent an object as a union of simple objects X I . * -- . composition are shown in Fig. The by the locus L. A reasonable assumption is that the area of X i The locus L. 1=1 (L. 4(c). The representation (27). (32) can be used for object recognition by any known graph matching tech- nique [2]. Each of these objects is completely described phological decomposition are shown in Fig. (32) has the advantage that it can be seen as a star-like graph whose center node is the “body” Xl1 of the object X. can be represented in the following way: is one half of the area of X . = (30) 2P(B)M <Y M K (24) NOp I Furthermore. 1 Ii 2P(B) M I IK . the heavier is the computa- tional load. the differences of the points I. 1 Ij I erally.! has the maximal inscrib... 4(b).. xk. The first In certain cases the locus Lj is composed of disconnected 16 simple objects X I . and of the relative coordinates 11:. the center of gravity ill of the biggest simple object L l l X: are disks.1 ) ’ and the relative coordinates I. The structuring ele- nected subsets Xil.Based on this as.. The center of gravity 1. }.111. (28) The larger the sizes Ni are. Gen. The loci L1. 1 Ii IK . the sets L. of the simple object X i .. are found for each locus L. xk} as structuring elements. A closer bound to NOpcan be found if &I = &]I . from the cen- ~ & i=l ter of gravity 1. 3. (32) sumption. L. k. can also be used.. The shape X .

REFERENCES fore the erosion procedure cannot make a distinction be- [l] 1. . VIII. to each other and isolated from the rest of the object X . and translation and scale invariant. The result of the complete decomposition of Fig. Such a distortion can be partially eliminated by performing an opening op- eration on the received image. Algorithms f o r Graphics and Image Processing. simple routine for drawing disks of radius N j centered at [4] T. Levine. The object description based on the results of the morpholog- ical decomposition can be represented by a star-like graph. 4(f). L3 are not isolated points as they should be. NO. rotation invariance is of no impor- tance. There- Fig. as it is shown in Fig. Pitas and A. method described in Section V... For binary image transmission. New York: tween an isolated point and. We see that discrete mor- phological decomposition is relatively robust to rotation. (e) Decomposition of the test image (d) in three compo. 1982. morphological decomposition is not suitable for objects which contain fine details or sharp contours. . 4(d). 4(h). X 3 of its morphological decom- position are shown in Fig. Vision in Man and Machine. (b) Decomposition in three components X .. three points connected Academic.. X. 4. X. . Its transmission requires the transmission of 10 radii and U of 55 coordinates. (c) Decomposition in 16 components X I . The result of the decomposition of Fig. However. [2] I. i = 1. decomposition is a subject of ongoing research [16] and nents XI. 12. The decom- position is unique. We have chosen this way because it is ville. 2 can be used in the decomposition algorithm. New York: McGraw- Hill. 1985. N.g. D. MD: Computer Science Press. 4(a) is shown in Fig.X I . tivalued functions with applications in range image anal- ysis [17]. X. loci have also been recently introduced by other researchers &. (h) whose central node is the “body” of the object. Rock- each point of L. L1 is an isolated point. In such a case no substantial data reduction must be ex- pected. A rotated and scaled version of the test object is shown in Fig. 1. X. .. IANUARY 1990 faster on a general purpose computer.. 1989. e. 4(a) in the first three largest objects XI. Pattern recognition based on morphological the test image. ( f ) Decomposition of image (a) in three components the results are very encouraging. graph matching techniques can be used for object by a CIRCLE element. morphological decomposition is rotation invariant. 4(g). (g) Complete de- composition of image (a) by using a SQUARE element. Venetsanopoulos. . If an 8 bit word is needed for the trans- mission of a radius or a coordinate number. a compression rate of 17 : 1 is obtained. The first three objects X . 1982. Therefore. However. Similar approaches to binary shape analysis sive erosions by B. 4(e). . X . Nonlinear Digital Filters: Prin- The dilations Li CB NiB have not been implemented by the ciples and Applications. We have used instead a [ 3 ] M. 16 by using a CIRCLE element. is shown in Fig. This comes from the fact that the CIRCLE has size N = 2 and there. Therefore the SQUARE structuring element of Fig.. This compression introduces some distortion of the image. A brute-force transmission of the binary image [Fig. VOL. (d) Rotated and scaled version of recognition. (a) Test image. It is based on mathematical morphology and it can decompose binary objects into a union of simple objects. New York: Kluwer Academic. X . X . fore. Image Analysis and Mathematical Morphology. Pavlidis. by using a SQUARE structuring element. 960 bits are needed for the transmission of the morphological decom- position data. Faster procedures can be implemented on special-purpose processors de- signed for morphological applications [ 101. CONCLUSIONS A new shape description technique is proposed. X.44 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSE AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE. If the structuring element is an approximation to the disk. . (h) Opening of cessfully applied to the description and analysis of mul- image (g) by a SQUARE structuring element. It has also been suc- XI. Serra. This comes from the fact that the structuring element CIRCLE is a good approximation to a disk. 4(a)] requires 16 384 bits.

and was Adjunct Professor at Concordia University. PAMI-9. He was on I. 5 . 45 T. Theo.” IEEE Trans.. “A review of algorithms for shape and analysis. Speech.D.. Thessalo. President of the Canadian Society neering from the Department of Electrical Engi. retical Advances. New York: Academic.D. Schafer. New Haven. He has pub- T .. Speech. and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Elec- Department of Electrical Engineering. dissertation. Maragos. M. Sternberg. Dr. Rosenfeld. Acousr. Acoust. Image Processing. Haralick. M. “Pattern recognition of binary image neering.” IEEE Trans. Professor in the Department of Electrical Engi- I. he put. F. degree in electrical engi. He is currently Assistant Professor at the same and recipient of the J . Serra. University of Erlangen-Nurenberg. Pitas. submitted for publication. submitted for publication. 1986. T. Haralick.. pp. pp. Watanabe. a Fellow of the Engineering Germany. the University Speech. man of the Department of Electrical Engineering (1978-1979). Signal Processing. vol. Ont. He served as Acoust. of Florence. West fessional Engineer in Ontario and Greece. University tronics Engineers for contributions to digital signal and image processing. Canada. R. respectively. Image Analysis and Mathematical Morphology. “Image analysis National Technical University of Athens. Editor of the Canadian Elec- degree and the Ph. “Morphological signal analysis. munications Group (1974-1978 and 1981-1986). M. and as Associate Chair- Graphics. W. D. pp. P. A. 33. vol. S. His research interests are in the areas of multidimensional dig- -. “Morphological skeleton represen. 1. Youssef. ita1 signal processing and digital image processing. and the Imperial College of Science and Tech- automatic morphological shape decomposition. Structural Pattern Recognition. CT. Ma. and digital communications. gineering.” Com. processing. no.Phil. R. and 1969. vol. 532-551. and the M. 1406-1424. 1228-1244. . “Understanding blood cell motion.S. vol.” Compur.” IEEE Trans. 7. Graphics Image Processing. B . of Toronto. Greece. He is a member of the New York department. de- chine Intell. served as Consultant to several organizations.D. niki. D. Ed. 1983. of Canada (1983-1986).” IEEE Trans. Jan. Vision.” in Proc. 1988. Paiiern Anal. P. sity. the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. New York: Springer-Verlag. Ed. Greece. lished over 50 papers in technical journals and conference proceedings. “Axial representation of shape.. Pavlidis. 1979. He joined the University of Toronto. Dr. Graphics Image Processing. ASSP-34. in 1965. Canada. Image Processing. 1989. pp. Sternberg. Toronto. Zhuang. no. 1985. 2.” Comput. Zhao and R. His research interests are in the areas of multidimen- vol. Noble. Vision. the National Tech- Y. no. Maragos and R. in 1966. 1968. He also served as Chairman of the Com- objects using morphological shape decomposition. pp.” in Proc. Glasgow. in 1980 and 1985. Con$ nology. Apr. NOV. Pavlidis. S . “Coding of two-tone images. grees in electrical engineering from Yale Univer- J . vol. DD. Venetsanopoulos was a Fulbright Scholar. S . Commun. COM-25. July 1987. Signal Processing. for Electrical Engineering and Vice President of the Engineering Institute neering. 156-173. New York: Academic. S . pp. and Y. “Parallel architectures for image processing. in September 1968.. Technol. vol. no. and X. Oct. 2. contributed in a book and consulted in the areas of digital signal and image 1978. degree from the R. SM’79-F’88) received the B . and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Institute of Canada.Sidiropoulos. and the Technical Chamber of Greece. Anastasios N. M. using mathematical morphology.” Ph. 1972. respectively.” Comput. Huang. A. 21. the International Society for Optical En- Associate in the Department of Electrical Engi. Schmitt Scholar. Sigma Xi. Georgia Inst.. 3rd IEEE Comput. & . 1977..Eng. he also Ioannis Pitas (S’80-M’85) received the Dipl. Venetsanopoulos (S’66-M’69- Graphics. P. he is a Registered Pro- neering. 185-209. Software Application Conf. h i .. Pitas is a member of the Greek Technical Chamber. and Ph. where he is now Signal Processing. “Binary shape recognition based on an nical University of Athens. 243-258. Atlanta. trical Engineering Journal (1981-1983). He has also been a Visiting Research Academy of Sciences. research leave at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Scotland. tation and coding of binary images.... “A unified theory of translation invariant systems with applications to morphological analysis and coding of images. 1977. is contributor to eleven books and has published over 300 papers in digital signal and image processing. Vakis Award. Levine. S . University of Thessaloniki.” in Frontiers of Pattern Recognition. Pitas and N. Lecturer of numerous short courses to industry and continuing education programs. sional digital signal processing and digital image processing. 1986. M. “Structural pattern recognition: Primitives and juxtapo- sition relations. 4 . 712- 717.