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Proceedings Paper

Determining watersheds in digital pictures via flooding simulations
Author(s): Pierre Soille; Luc M. Vincent
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Paper Abstract

The watershed transformation is a very powerful image analysis tool provided by mathematical morphology. However, most existing watershed algorithms are either too time consuming or insufficiently accurate. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new and flexible implementation of this transformation. It is based on a progressive flooding of the picture and it works for n-dimensional images. Pixels are first sorted in the increasing order of their gray values. Then, the successive gray levels are processed in order to simulate the flooding propagation. A distributive sorting technique combined with breadth-first scannings of each gray level allow an extremely fast computation. Furthermore, the present algorithm is very general since it deals with any kind of digital grid and its extension to general graphs is straightforward. Its interest with respect to image segmentation is illustrated by the extraction of geometrical shapes from a noisy image, the separation of 3-dimensional overlapping particles and by the segmentation of a digital elevation model using watersheds on images and graphs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 1990
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1360, Visual Communications and Image Processing '90: Fifth in a Series, (1 September 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.24211
Show Author Affiliations
Pierre Soille, Ecole des Mines de Paris (France)
Luc M. Vincent, Ecole des Mines de Paris (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1360:
Visual Communications and Image Processing '90: Fifth in a Series
Murat Kunt, Editor(s)

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