Journal of Electronic ImagingImage segmentation utilizing the winner-take-all dynamics in a large-array opto-electronic feedback circuit
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Image segmentation is a key element in processing image data. Done properly, image segmentation can both enhance the quality of subsequent processing and enable other higher-level processing to generate useful information. Image segmentation that clearly separates objects from the background can improve the accuracy of the recognition of the object. Isolating important objects within an image requires techniques that divide pixels into object or background information.A technique adopted from the neural network field is presented for performing image segmentation based on the winner-take-all (WTA) scheme implemented with an optoelectronic architecture. This combination allows the parallel nature of optics and the computational strengths of electronics to model a fast and efficient image segmentation system. A model of an architecture for a large array of optoelectronic feedback circuits that can be realized using new technology to perform image segmentation using the WTA scheme is proposed. The architecture is modeled optoelectronically as an interferometer with a simple nonlinearity for the control unit. Results from numerical analysis and simulations show the model can generate WTA behavior. Results from simulations are shown with sample images used to test the model's ability to perform segmentation.