Efficient Image Segmentation Preserving Semantic Object Shapes

Hyun Sang PARK  Jong Beom RA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E82-A   No.6   pp.879-886
Publication Date: 1999/06/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section of Papers Selected from 1998 International Technical Conference on Circuits/Systems, Computers and Communications (ITC-CSCC '98))
image segmentation,  region merging,  semantic object,  morphology,  

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Homogeneous but distinct visual objects having low-contrast boundaries are usually merged in most of the segmentation algorithms. To alleviate this problem, an efficient image segmentation algorithm based on a bottom-up approach is proposed by using spatial domain information only. For initial image segmentation, we adopt a new marker extraction algorithm conforming to the human visual system. It generates dense markers in visually complex areas and sparse markers in visually homogeneous areas. Then, two region-merging algorithms are successively applied so that homogeneous visual objects can be represented as simple as possible without destroying low-contrast real boundaries among them. The first one is to remove insignificant regions in a proper merging order. And the second one merges only homogeneous regions, based on ternary region classification. The resultant segmentation describes homogeneous visual objects with few regions while preserving semantic object shapes well. Finally, a size-based region decision procedure may be applied to represent complex visual objects simpler, if their precise semantic contents are not necessary. Experimental results show that the proposed image segmentation algorithm represents homogeneous visual objects with a few regions and describes complex visual objects with a marginal number of regions with well-preserved semantic object shapes.