Image segmentation is the process of partitioning a digital image into a set of homogeneous regions (according to some homogeneity criterion) to facilitate a subsequent higher-level analysis. In this context, the present paper proposes an unsupervised and graph-based method of image segmentation, which is driven by an application goal, namely, the generation of image segments associated with a user-defined and application-specific goal. A graph, together with a random grid of source elements, is defined on top of the input image. From each source satisfying a goal-driven predicate, called seed, a propagation algorithm assigns a cost to each pixel on the basis of similarity and topological connectivity, measuring the degree of association with the reference seed. Then, the set of most significant regions is automatically extracted and used to estimate a statistical model for each region. Finally, the segmentation problem is expressed in a Bayesian framework in terms of probabilistic Markov random field (MRF) graphical modeling. An ad hoc energy function is defined based on parametric models, a seed-specific spatial feature, a background-specific potential, and local-contextual information. This energy function is minimized through graph cuts and, more specifically, the alpha-beta swap algorithm, yielding the final goal-driven segmentation based on the maximum a posteriori (MAP) decision rule. The proposed method does not require deep a priori knowledge (e.g., labelled datasets), as it only requires the choice of a goal-driven predicate and a suited parametric model for the data. In the experimental validation with both magnetic resonance (MR) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images, the method demonstrates robustness, versatility, and applicability to different domains, thus allowing for further analyses guided by the generated products

A goal-driven unsupervised image segmentation method combining graph-based processing and Markov random fields

Marco Trombini;David Solarna;Gabriele Moser;Silvana Dellepiane
2023-01-01

Abstract

Image segmentation is the process of partitioning a digital image into a set of homogeneous regions (according to some homogeneity criterion) to facilitate a subsequent higher-level analysis. In this context, the present paper proposes an unsupervised and graph-based method of image segmentation, which is driven by an application goal, namely, the generation of image segments associated with a user-defined and application-specific goal. A graph, together with a random grid of source elements, is defined on top of the input image. From each source satisfying a goal-driven predicate, called seed, a propagation algorithm assigns a cost to each pixel on the basis of similarity and topological connectivity, measuring the degree of association with the reference seed. Then, the set of most significant regions is automatically extracted and used to estimate a statistical model for each region. Finally, the segmentation problem is expressed in a Bayesian framework in terms of probabilistic Markov random field (MRF) graphical modeling. An ad hoc energy function is defined based on parametric models, a seed-specific spatial feature, a background-specific potential, and local-contextual information. This energy function is minimized through graph cuts and, more specifically, the alpha-beta swap algorithm, yielding the final goal-driven segmentation based on the maximum a posteriori (MAP) decision rule. The proposed method does not require deep a priori knowledge (e.g., labelled datasets), as it only requires the choice of a goal-driven predicate and a suited parametric model for the data. In the experimental validation with both magnetic resonance (MR) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images, the method demonstrates robustness, versatility, and applicability to different domains, thus allowing for further analyses guided by the generated products
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
1-s2.0-S0031320322005623-main.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo su rivista
Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Dimensione 4.48 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.48 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1099301
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 6
social impact