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An enhanced, region-aided, geometric active contour that is more tolerant toward weak edges and noise in images is introduced. The proposed method integrates gradient flow forces with region constraints, composed of image region vector flow forces obtained through the diffusion of the region segmentation map. We refer to this as the region-aided geometric snake or RAGS. The diffused region forces can be generated from any reliable region segmentation technique, greylevel or color. This extra region force gives the snake a global complementary view of the boundary information within the image which, along with the local gradient flow, helps detect fuzzy boundaries and overcome noisy regions. The partial differential equation (PDE) resulting from this integration of image gradient flow and diffused region flow is implemented using a level set approach. We present various examples and also evaluate and compare the performance of RAGS on weak boundaries and noisy images.
Date of Publication: May 2004