Journal of Medical ImagingMatching methods evaluation framework for stereoscopic breast x-ray images
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Three-dimensional (3-D) imaging has been intensively studied in the past few decades. Depth information is an important added value of 3-D systems over two-dimensional systems. Special focuses were devoted to the development of stereo matching methods for the generation of disparity maps (i.e., depth information within a 3-D scene). Dedicated frameworks were designed to evaluate and rank the performance of different stereo matching methods but never considering x-ray medical images. Yet, 3-D x-ray acquisition systems and 3-D medical displays have already been introduced into the diagnostic market. To access the depth information within x-ray stereoscopic images, computing accurate disparity maps is essential. We aimed at developing a framework dedicated to x-ray stereoscopic breast images used to evaluate and rank several stereo matching methods. A multiresolution pyramid optimization approach was integrated to the framework to increase the accuracy and the efficiency of the stereo matching techniques. Finally, a metric was designed to score the results of the stereo matching compared with the ground truth. Eight methods were evaluated and four of them [locally scaled sum of absolute differences (LSAD), zero mean sum of absolute differences, zero mean sum of squared differences, and locally scaled mean sum of squared differences] appeared to perform equally good with an average error score of 0.04 (0 is the perfect matching). LSAD was selected for generating the disparity maps.