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Proceedings Paper

HWT - hybrid watershed transform: optimal combination of hierarchical interactive and automated image segmentation
Author(s): Horst K. Hahn; Markus T. Wenzel; Johann Drexl; Susanne Zentis; Heinz-Otto Peitgen
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Paper Abstract

In quantitative medical imaging and therapy planning, the optimal combination of automated and interactively defined information is crucial for image segmentation methods to be both efficient and effective. We propose to combine an efficient hierarchical region merging scheme that collects per-region statistics across hierarchy levels with a trainable classification engine that facilitates automated region labeling based on an arbitrary number of reference segmentations. When applying the classification engine, we propose to use a corridor of non-classified regions resulting in a sparse labeling with extremely low false-classification rate, and to attribute labels to the remaining basins through successive merging with ready-labeled basins. The proposed hierarchical region merging scheme also permits to efficiently include interactively defined labels. We denominate this general approach as Hybrid Hierarchical Interactive Image Segmentation Scheme (HIS2). More specifically, we present an extension of the Interactive Watershed Transform, which we combine with a trainable two-class Support Vector Machine based on Gaussian radial basis functions. Finally, we present a novel asymmetric marker scheme, which provides a powerful means of regionally correcting remaining inaccuracies while preserving full detail of the automatic labeling procedure. We denominate the complete algorithm as Hybrid Watershed Transform (HWT), which we apply to one challenging segmentation problem in clinical imaging, namely efficient bone removal in large computed tomography angiographic data sets. Efficiency and accuracy of the proposed methodology is evaluated on multi-slice images from nine different sites. As a result, its ability to rapidly and automatically generate robust and precise segmentation results in combination with a versatile manual correction mechanism could be proven without requiring specific anatomical or geometrical models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6512, Medical Imaging 2007: Image Processing, 65120Z (3 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.710345
Show Author Affiliations
Horst K. Hahn, MeVis Research (Germany)
Markus T. Wenzel, MeVis Research (Germany)
Johann Drexl, MeVis Research (Germany)
Susanne Zentis, MeVis Research (Germany)
Heinz-Otto Peitgen, MeVis Research (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6512:
Medical Imaging 2007: Image Processing
Josien P. W. Pluim; Joseph M. Reinhardt, Editor(s)

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