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Proceedings Paper

Interactive outlining: an improved approach using active contours
Author(s): Dirk Daneels; David van Campenhout; Carlton Wayne Niblack; Will Equitz; Ron Barber; Freddy Fierens
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Paper Abstract

The purpose of our work is to outline objects on images in an interactive environment. We use an improved method based on energy minimizing active contours or `snakes.' Kass et al., proposed a variational technique; Amini used dynamic programming; and Williams and Shah introduced a fast, greedy algorithm. We combine the advantages of the latter two methods in a two-stage algorithm. The first stage is a greedy procedure that provides fast initial convergence. It is enhanced with a cost term that extends over a large number of points to avoid oscillations. The second stage, when accuracy becomes important, uses dynamic programming. This step is accelerated by the use of alternating search neighborhoods and by dropping stable points from the iterations. We have also added several features for user interaction. First, the user can define points of high confidence. Mathematically, this results in an extra cost term and, in that way, the robustness in difficult areas (e.g., noisy edges, sharp corners) is improved. We also give the user the possibility of incremental contour tracking, thus providing feedback on the refinement process. The algorithm has been tested on numerous photographic clip art images and extensive tests on medical images are in progress.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 April 1993
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1908, Storage and Retrieval for Image and Video Databases, (14 April 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.143652
Show Author Affiliations
Dirk Daneels, ESAT (Belgium) and IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (Belgium)
David van Campenhout, ESAT (Belgium) and IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (Belgium)
Carlton Wayne Niblack, IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (Belgium)
Will Equitz, IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (Belgium)
Ron Barber, IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (Belgium)
Freddy Fierens, IBM Almaden Research Ctr. (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1908:
Storage and Retrieval for Image and Video Databases
Carlton Wayne Niblack, Editor(s)

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