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Proceedings Paper

An entropy-based objective evaluation method for image segmentation
Author(s): Hui Zhang; Jason E. Fritts; Sally A. Goldman
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Paper Abstract

Accurate image segmentation is important for many image, video and computer vision applications. Over the last few decades, many image segmentation methods have been proposed. However, the results of these segmentation methods are usually evaluated only visually, qualitatively, or indirectly by the effectiveness of the segmentation on the subsequent processing steps. Such methods are either subjective or tied to particular applications. They do not judge the performance of a segmentation method objectively, and cannot be used as a means to compare the performance of different segmentation techniques. A few quantitative evaluation methods have been proposed, but these early methods have been based entirely on empirical analysis and have no theoretical grounding. In this paper, we propose a novel objective segmentation evaluation method based on information theory. The new method uses entropy as the basis for measuring the uniformity of pixel characteristics (luminance is used in this paper) within a segmentation region. The evaluation method provides a relative quality score that can be used to compare different segmentations of the same image. This method can be used to compare both various parameterizations of one particular segmentation method as well as fundamentally different segmentation techniques. The results from this preliminary study indicate that the proposed evaluation method is superior to the prior quantitative segmentation evaluation techniques, and identify areas for future research in objective segmentation evaluation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 December 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5307, Storage and Retrieval Methods and Applications for Multimedia 2004, (18 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.527167
Show Author Affiliations
Hui Zhang, Washington Univ. (United States)
Jason E. Fritts, Washington Univ. (United States)
Sally A. Goldman, Washington Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5307:
Storage and Retrieval Methods and Applications for Multimedia 2004
Minerva M. Yeung; Rainer W. Lienhart; Chung-Sheng Li, Editor(s)

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