In this paper we present a new theory and an algorithm for image segmentation based on a strength of connectedness between every pair of image elements. The object definition used in the segmentation algorithm utilizes the notion of iterative relative fuzzy connectedness, IRFC. In previously published research, the IRFC theory was developed only for the case when the segmentation was involved with just two segments, an object and a background, and each of the segments was indicated by a single seed. Our theory, which solves a problem of Udupa and Saha, allows simultaneous segmentation involving an arbitrary number of objects. Moreover, each segment can be indicated by more than one seed, which is often more natural and easier than a single seed object identification.
The first iteration step of the IRFC algorithm gives a segmentation known as relative fuzzy connectedness, RFC, segmentation. Thus, the IRFC technique is an extension of the RFC method. Although the RFC theory, due to Saha and Udupa, is developed in the multi object/multi seed framework, the theoretical results presented here are considerably more delicate in nature and do not use the results from earlier papers. On the other hand, the earlier theoretical results are immediate consequences of the results presented here. Moreover, the new framework not only subsumes previous fuzzy connectedness descriptions but also sheds new light on them.
We present examples of segmentations obtained via our IRFC based algorithm in the multi object/multi seed environment, and compare it with the results obtained with the RFC based algorithm. Our results indicate that, in many situations, IRFC outperforms RFC, but there also exist instances where the gain in performance is negligible.
MIPG Technical Report # 327 version in pdf format. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Last modified May 13, 2009.