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Proceedings Paper

Towards designing an optical-flow based colonoscopy tracking algorithm: a comparative study
Author(s): Jianfei Liu; Kalpathi R. Subramanian; Terry S. Yoo
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Paper Abstract

Automatic co-alignment of optical and virtual colonoscopy images can supplement traditional endoscopic procedures, by providing more complete information of clinical value to the gastroenterologist. In this work, we present a comparative analysis of our optical flow based technique for colonoscopy tracking, in relation to current state of the art methods, in terms of tracking accuracy, system stability, and computational efficiency. Our optical-flow based colonoscopy tracking algorithm starts with computing multi-scale dense and sparse optical flow fields to measure image displacements. Camera motion parameters are then determined from optical flow fields by employing a Focus of Expansion (FOE) constrained egomotion estimation scheme. We analyze the design choices involved in the three major components of our algorithm: dense optical flow, sparse optical flow, and egomotion estimation. Brox's optical flow method,1 due to its high accuracy, was used to compare and evaluate our multi-scale dense optical flow scheme. SIFT6 and Harris-affine features7 were used to assess the accuracy of the multi-scale sparse optical flow, because of their wide use in tracking applications; the FOE-constrained egomotion estimation was compared with collinear,2 image deformation10 and image derivative4 based egomotion estimation methods, to understand the stability of our tracking system. Two virtual colonoscopy (VC) image sequences were used in the study, since the exact camera parameters(for each frame) were known; dense optical flow results indicated that Brox's method was superior to multi-scale dense optical flow in estimating camera rotational velocities, but the final tracking errors were comparable, viz., 6mm vs. 8mm after the VC camera traveled 110mm. Our approach was computationally more efficient, averaging 7.2 sec. vs. 38 sec. per frame. SIFT and Harris affine features resulted in tracking errors of up to 70mm, while our sparse optical flow error was 6mm. The comparison among egomotion estimation algorithms showed that our FOE-constrained egomotion estimation method achieved the optimal balance between tracking accuracy and robustness. The comparative study demonstrated that our optical-flow based colonoscopy tracking algorithm maintains good accuracy and stability for routine use in clinical practice.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2013
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8671, Medical Imaging 2013: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 867103 (8 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2007956
Show Author Affiliations
Jianfei Liu, National Institutes of Health (United States)
Kalpathi R. Subramanian, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Terry S. Yoo, National Library of Medicine (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8671:
Medical Imaging 2013: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
David R. Holmes III; Ziv R. Yaniv, Editor(s)

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