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2012 Third International Conference on Intelligent Control and Information Processing

July 15-17, 2012 - Dalian, China

Wall Crack Detection Based on Image Processing

Dongna Hu, Tian Tian, Hengxiang Yang, Shibo Xu and Xiujin Wang

Abstract—In this paper, a novel crack detection method is the dependence on background image [9], but the sample
proposed based on the digital image of building external wall. point training needs time and can be hard to convergence.
We strive to record the wall surface condition accurately, and
then get the linear characteristics of the image for crack The original Edge Image Removal of
recognition. This paper first does image edge detection, image image detection binary isolated points
binary of adaptive threshold and removal of isolated points ,
obtaining effective linear characteristics. Finally we distinguish
the cracks and the normal lines through the curve fitting and its
parameter analysis. The experimental results are satisfactory. Distinguish Segment fitting Edge set
Cracks Parameter analysis decomposition

I. INTRODUCTION Fig. 1. The flow chart of the method

W ALL cracks of varying degrees are common as the

increase of building life . The existing maintenance
measures include artificial observing , which is
In this paper, we first extract the linear feature of the digital
inaccurate and labor-intensive, and equipment monitoring , image to make preparation for the identification and
which needs a lot of equipment for overall detection. In this positioning of the wall cracks. Since the building external
paper, the digital photographs of the building exterior walls walls have complex linear, we take the following measures to
are used to accurately record the information of the walls realize the extraction of the effective feature.
from various angles, based on which we get morphological
A. Prewitt Edge Detection Based on Gray Correlation and
characters of the cracks and then realize the cracks
Dynamic Threshold
identification and positioning.
Now studies on crack detection based on image processing Gray correlation reflects the variation of the gray scale. A
mainly focus on pavement distress detection, and they aim at new method for edge detection was proposed based on the
the effective acquisition of image information and the present gray correlation degree and the classical Prewitt edge
situation monitoring of the road .The problem has high detection [10], but the fixed threshold is not suitable for edge
demand for image edge detection that is a key step in image thinning. so the Prewitt edge detection method based on grey
processing and image analysis. In 1998, Indian researchers correlation and dynamic threshold is put forward in this
presented a morphologic edge detection methods using paper, which can better identify edge points using the grey
multi-scale approach for detecting edges of various fineness correlation degree. Steps of the algorithm are as follows,
under noisy condition [1], and then Cuheadar et [2] presented 1) Choose the reference sequence and the comparison
a new algorithm based on wavelet transforms for automated sequence
segmentation of the pavement-condition data, and the In this section, we choose the 8 templates of Prewitt
resulting segments are semantically and objectively represent operator as the reference sequence, i.e. 0°, 45°, 90°, 135°,
the original data better than the precious methods. Recent 180°, 225°, 270° and 315°. For absolute value is adopted in
years, we can find related research on the creative pavement computation, we choose 4 gradient templates of Prewitt
1 2 3 4
crack detection algorithm in [3-8]. operator(X0 , X0 , X0 ,X0 ), i.e. 0°, 45°, 90° and 135°, as the
In comparison with pavement, building exterior walls have reference sequence, while each pixel and its eight
complex background linear clusters , thus have more neighborhoods as the comparison sequence.
requirements for the algorithm’s ability of restraining noise. 2) Calculate the gray correlation degree of each pixel
Edges detection needs to take into account the effects of the a) Initialization of reference sequence
background pattern to accurately extract the features of the X0 = {
x0 (k ) x (k )
} , X i = { i } , k ∈ {1, n} ,n for integer (1)
region and the linear. Moreover, line features should be made x0 (i ) xi (i )
prominent in image processing according to crack detection Where, x0 (i) − max{x0 (1), x0 (2), , x0 (n)} , xi (i ) − max{xi (1), xi (2), −
need. A new method of image segmentation based on neural − , xi (n)}
network was proposed to extract the cracks image
information, and the method could to some extent overcome b) Calculate the correlative coefficient

Dongna Hu, Tian Tian, Hengxiang Yang and Xiujin Wang are with the
School of Computer Science and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin,
China. CO 300072, (corresponding author email: .
Shibo Xu is with the School of Computer Software, Tianjin University,
Tianjin, China.

978-1-4577-2143-4/12/$26.00 ©2012 IEEE 597

Δ min + ζΔ max linear of results using dynamic threshold after binarization
ξ oi (k ) = (2)
Δi (k ) + ζΔ max has good continuity, it can better corresponds with the needs
Where, Δi (k ) = X 0 (k ) − X i (k ) , ζ = 0.5 is the discriminating of crack detecting in this paper.
coefficient, Δ max = max i∈I max Δi (k )
, Δ min = min i∈I min Δi (k ) , Δ max is
k k

the maximal difference absolute value of two sequences

above, Δ min is the minimum difference absolute value of two
sequence above.
c) Calculate the correlative coefficient between the
1 n
γ 0i = ∑ ξ0i (k )
n k =1
(a) Binary image of fixed (b) Binary of algorithm
As mentioned above, we calculate out the gray correlation Threshold presented in this article
degree of four directions for each pixel, Fig. 3. Comparison of binary image
i.e. γ 2 ( X 0 2 , X i ) γ 1 ( X 01 , X i ) , γ 3 ( X 03 , X i ) , γ 4 ( X 0 4 , X i ) .
C. Remove Isolated Points
3) Calculate the edge response function
Based on the linear expansion feature of cracks, removing
E (i, j ) = max{γ 1 ( X 01 , X i ), γ 2 ( X 0 2 , X i ), γ 3 ( X 03 , X i ), γ 4 ( X 0 4 , X i )} (4)
outliers can make the extraction and analysis of cracks more
4) Extract edge using the dynamic threshold convenient and effective. Outliers are objects of which most
As the gray values vary with different regions , the data doesn’t fit into models related.
threshold varies by the gray value to reduce loss of edge Operators using mathematical morphology can further
details, i.e. the dynamic threshold. In this paper, we calculate eliminate irrelevant part of the image data, also it can stress
the maximum grey value, Emax , and the minimum grey essential features. The binary image based on proper close
value, Emin , of the pixel and its eight pixels in neighborhood, operation is illustrated as Fig. 4, it stresses the essential
and take the average of Emax and Emin as the threshold. The features of original image, so that it can provide basis for
equation is as follows, further simulation analysis.
Prewitt operator using the dynamic threshold could
eliminate the false edge in a better way and remain the edge
information more accurately.
( Emax + Emin )
T= (5)
In Fig. 2 , we compare the result of Prewitt edge detection
based on gray correlation and dynamic threshold with that of
classic Prewitt algorithm. The algorithm presented in this
paper inherits the advantage of classic Prewitt algorithm and
can accurately detect tiny linetype with connectivity. Fig. 4. Extraction results of the image edge set


Through the process above, we get the edge set containing
a lot of linear information. After comprehensive information
comparison, we can discriminate the cracks from normal
texture of walls, the process of identification is as illustrated
in Fig. 5.
(a) Classic Prewitt algorithm (b) algorithm presented
in this paper
Fig. 2. Experimental results of image edge detection

B. Image Binary of Adaptive Threshold

Given the gray function f ( x, y ) , the image binary process
is as follows,
⎧0 f ( x , y ) ≤ T
f ( x, y ) = ⎨ (6) Fig. 5. The crack identification process
⎩1 f ( x , y ) ≥ T
We introduce the threshold, T, to preserve the feature
information to the most degree. In this paper, we apply A. Decompose the edge set
binarization of dynamic threshold, that is, iterating the In order to distinguish the cracks from the edge set, we
threshold as the gray changes. The experimental results is devote to obtain feature details of every segment first. Thus
illustrated as Fig. 3, from the comparison, we can see that the decomposing the edge set of binary image into segments is

necessary in this section. Fig. 6 lists out some of the segments polynomial is 9, so we can conclude that these curves are
for example. cracks, based on these rules, we can classify the curves in the

Number Slope R-square Fitting equation

a -0.02317 0.8298 f ( x ) = p1* x + p 2

b 1.402 0.9848 f ( x ) = p1* x + p 2

c -39.73 0.9312 f ( x ) = p1* x + p 2

d 31.44 0.9085 f ( x ) = p1* x + p 2

D. Marking the crack

So far, we discriminate normal lines from cracks,
corresponding to the segment location in the original image,
the crack is marked as Fig. 7 shows.
The cracks marked are just a reference. More importantly,
Fig. 6. The segment for example we can realize reasonable judgment of building wall current
B. Fitting of each segment situation through comprehensive analysis of the crack
appearing frequency and its width and continuity, and then put
A single line is the expression of the function relation
forward practical repairing programmes.
between two sets of data, that is, Y = f ( X , C ) -the function
between X i and Yi , which contains lots of feature details of the IV. CONCLUSION AND PROSPECTIVE
segment. In this article, we use polynomial fitting method, In this paper, we basically realize the effective extraction
firstly, assume it to be a polynomial of degree n, then of information from original image by edge detecting, while
determine the best fitting efficiency through examination, the analysis and detection of cracks with complex background
meanwhile, record related feature parameters. need to be improved. As we just adopt simple fitting
R-square reflects goodness of fitting, the more close to 1 its parameters to discriminate cracks from normal lines, some
value is, the better the fitting efficiency is. To ensure the other parameters can further indentify the cracks, such as each
reliability of the results, the goodness of fittest is larger than coefficient of the polynomial, sum of error-of-fit squares and
0.8 in this paper. so on, and then we can expect relevant repair and
C. Parameters analysis maintenance according to crack degree classification.
1) Fitting parameter analysis of the simple line
The line with the fitting equation, f ( x ) = p1* x + p 2 , can
be regarded as a straight line, where,p1 is the slope of the line.
Taking into account the error caused by shooting angle,
If p1 ∈ [ −0.05, 0.05] , the line is a horizontal line.
If p1∈ [ −∞, −19.08] ∪ [19.08, +∞ ] , the line is a vertical line.
Based on the data in Table 1, we can judge that the straight
lines, labeled as a, c, d , are normal lines.
As for the judgment of line b, we need to consider the
Fig. 7. Example of marking cracks
distribution of segments in the reference figures. If we can find
a series of lines that have similar slope with b, we can regard b
as a normal line, if not, b is a crack.
2) Fitting parameter analysis of the complex curve
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Number Fitting effect R-square Fitting equation

e 0.9764 f ( x) = p1* x 9 + p 2 * x8 + p3* x 7 + p 4 * x 6 + p5 * x 5 + p 6 * x 4 + p7 * x 3 + p8* x 2 + p9 * x + p10

f 0.9988 f ( x) = p1* x 9 + p 2 * x8 + p3* x 7 + p 4 * x 6 + p5 * x 5 + p 6 * x 4 + p7 * x 3 + p8* x 2 + p9 * x + p10