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Maximum-likelihood parameter estimation for unsupervised stochastic model-based image segmentation

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3 Author(s)
Jun Zhang ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Wisconsin Univ., Milwaukee, WI, USA ; J. W. Modestino ; D. A. Langan

An unsupervised stochastic model-based approach to image segmentation is described, and some of its properties investigated. In this approach, the problem of model parameter estimation is formulated as a problem of parameter estimation from incomplete data, and the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm is used to determine a maximum-likelihood (ML) estimate. Previously, the use of the EM algorithm in this application has encountered difficulties since an analytical expression for the conditional expectations required in the EM procedure is generally unavailable, except for the simplest models. In this paper, two solutions are proposed to solve this problem: a Monte Carlo scheme and a scheme related to Besag's (1986) iterated conditional mode (ICM) method. Both schemes make use of Markov random-field modeling assumptions. Examples are provided to illustrate the implementation of the EM algorithm for several general classes of image models. Experimental results on both synthetic and real images are provided

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 4 )