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Chapter 10

Image Segmentation

Chapter 10

Image Segmentation

Image segmentation divides an image into regions that are

connected and have some similarity within the region and

some difference between adjacent regions.

The goal is usually to find individual objects in an image.

For the most part there are fundamentally two kinds of

approaches to segmentation: discontinuity and similarity.

Similarity may be due to pixel intensity, color or texture.

Differences are sudden changes (discontinuities) in any of these, but

especially sudden changes in intensity along a boundary line, which is

called an edge.

Detection of Discontinuities

There are three kinds of discontinuities of intensity: points,

lines and edges.

The most common way to look for discontinuities is to scan a

small mask over the image. The mask determines which kind

of discontinuity to look for.

9

R w1 z1 w2 z 2 ... w9 z9 wi zi

i 1

Detection of Discontinuities

Point Detection

R T

where T : a nonnegative threshold

Detection of Discontinuities

Line Detection

Only slightly more common than point detection is to find a

one pixel wide line in an image.

For digital images the only three point straight lines are only

horizontal, vertical, or diagonal (+ or 45).

Detection of Discontinuities

Line Detection

Detection of Discontinuities

Edge Detection

Detection of Discontinuities

Edge Detection

Detection of Discontinuities

Edge Detection

Detection of Discontinuities

Edge Detection

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators

First-order derivatives:

The gradient of an image f(x,y) at location (x,y) is defined

as the vector:

Gx

f

G y

f

x

f

y

The direction of this vector:

2

x

Gx

( x, y ) tan

G

y

1

2

y

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators

Roberts cross-gradient operators

Prewitt operators

Sobel operators

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators

detecting diagonal edges

detecting diagonal edges

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators: Example

f G x G y

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators: Example

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators: Example

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators

The Laplacian of an 2D function f(x,y) is defined as

2 f 2 f

2

f 2 2

x

y

Two forms in practice:

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators

Consider the function:

h( r ) e

r2

2

2

A Gaussian function

where r 2 x 2 y 2

and : the standard deviation

The Laplacian of h is

r

h( r )

e

4

r2

2

2

The Laplacian of a

Gaussian (LoG)

hat function. It also can be computed by smoothing the image

with the Gaussian smoothing mask, followed by application of

the Laplacian mask.

2002 R. C. Gonzalez & R. E. Woods

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators: Example

Sobel gradient

Laplacian mask

Detection of Discontinuities

Gradient Operators: Example

Local Processing

Two properties of edge points are useful for edge linking:

the strength (or magnitude) of the detected edge points

their directions (determined from gradient directions)

Adjacent edge points with similar magnitude and direction are

linked.

For example, an edge pixel with coordinates (x0,y0) in a

predefined neighborhood of (x,y) is similar to the pixel at (x,y)

if

f ( x, y ) ( x0 , y0 ) E , E : a nonnegative threshold

2002 R. C. Gonzalez & R. E. Woods

Local Processing: Example

In this example,

we can find the

license plate

candidate after

edge linking

process.

2002 R. C. Gonzalez & R. E. Woods

Global Processing via the Hough Transform

Hough transform: a way of finding edge points in an image

that lie along a straight line.

Example: xy-plane v.s. ab-plane (parameter space)

yi axi b

Global Processing via the Hough Transform

The Hough transform consists of

finding all pairs of values of

and which satisfy the equations

that pass through (x,y).

These are accumulated in what is

basically a 2-dimensional

histogram.

When plotted these pairs of and

will look like a sine wave. The

process is repeated for all

appropriate (x,y) locations.

x cos y sin

Hough Transform Example

The intersection of the

curves corresponding

to points 1,3,5

2,3,4

1,4

2002 R. C. Gonzalez & R. E. Woods

Hough Transform Example

Thresholding

Assumption: the range of intensity levels covered by objects

of interest is different from the background.

if f ( x, y ) T

1

g ( x, y )

if f ( x, y ) T

0

Single threshold

2002 R. C. Gonzalez & R. E. Woods

Multiple threshold

Thresholding

The Role of Illumination

Thresholding

The Role of Illumination

r ( x, y )

(a) (c)

(d) (e)

f ( x, y ) i ( x , y ) r ( x, y )

2002 R. C. Gonzalez & R. E. Woods

i ( x, y )

Thresholding

Basic Global Thresholding

Thresholding

Basic Global Thresholding

Thresholding

Basic Adaptive Thresholding

Thresholding

Basic Adaptive Thresholding

2002 R. C. Gonzalez & R. E. Woods

Thresholding

Basic Adaptive Thresholding

Answer: subdivision

Thresholding

Optimal Global and Adaptive Thresholding

This method treats pixel values as probability density functions.

The goal of this method is to minimize the probability of

misclassifying pixels as either object or background.

There are two kinds of error:

mislabeling an object pixel as background, and

mislabeling a background pixel as object.

Thresholding

Use of Boundary Characteristics

Thresholding

Thresholds Based on Several Variables

Color image

Region-Based Segmentation

results for segmentation.

Region-based segmentation is based on the

connectivity of similar pixels in a region.

Each region must be uniform.

Connectivity of the pixels within the region is very

important.

segmentation: region growing and region splitting.

Region-Based Segmentation

Basic Formulation

Let R represent the entire image region.

Segmentation is a process that partitions R into subregions,

R1,R2,,Rn, such that

n

(a) Ri R

i 1

(c) Ri R j for all i and j , i j

(d) P ( Ri ) TRUE for i 1,2,..., n

(e) P ( Ri R j ) FALSE for any adjacent regions Ri and R j

where P(Rk): a logical predicate defined over the points in set Rk

For example: P(Rk)=TRUE if all pixels in Rk have the same gray

level.

Region-Based Segmentation

Region Growing

Region-Based Segmentation

Region Growing

Fig. 10.41 shows the histogram of Fig. 10.40 (a). It is difficult to

segment the defects by thresholding methods. (Applying region

growing methods are better in this case.)

Figure 10.40(a)

2002 R. C. Gonzalez & R. E. Woods

Figure 10.41

Region-Based Segmentation

Region Splitting and Merging

First there is a large region (possible the entire image).

Then a predicate (measurement) is used to determine if the

region is uniform.

If not, then the method requires that the region be split into

two regions.

Then each of these two regions is independently tested by

the predicate (measurement).

This procedure continues until all resulting regions are

uniform.

Region-Based Segmentation

Region Splitting

The main problem with region splitting is determining where to

split a region.

One method to divide a region is to use a quadtree structure.

Quadtree: a tree in which nodes have exactly four descendants.

Region-Based Segmentation

Region Splitting and Merging

Split into four disjoint quadrants any region Ri for which

P(Ri) = FALSE.

Merge any adjacent regions Rj and Rk for which P(RjURk) =

TRUE. (the quadtree structure may not be preserved)

Stop when no further merging or splitting is possible.

The concept of watersheds is based on visualizing an image in

three dimensions: two spatial coordinates versus gray levels.

In such a topographic interpretation, we consider three types

of points:

(a) points belonging to a regional minimum

(b) points at which a drop of water would fall with

certainty to a single minimum

(c) points at which water would be equally likely to fall to

more than one such minimum

The principal objective of segmentation algorithms based on

these concepts is to find the watershed lines.

2002 R. C. Gonzalez & R. E. Woods

Example

Example

Example

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