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Toward Objective Evaluation of Image Segmentation Algorithms

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3 Author(s)
Unnikrishnan, R. ; Robotics Inst., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA ; Pantofaru, C. ; Hebert, M.

Unsupervised image segmentation is an important component in many image understanding algorithms and practical vision systems. However, evaluation of segmentation algorithms thus far has been largely subjective, leaving a system designer to judge the effectiveness of a technique based only on intuition and results in the form of a few example segmented images. This is largely due to image segmentation being an ill-defined problem-there is no unique ground-truth segmentation of an image against which the output of an algorithm may be compared. This paper demonstrates how a recently proposed measure of similarity, the normalized probabilistic rand (NPR) index, can be used to perform a quantitative comparison between image segmentation algorithms using a hand-labeled set of ground-truth segmentations. We show that the measure allows principled comparisons between segmentations created by different algorithms, as well as segmentations on different images. We outline a procedure for algorithm evaluation through an example evaluation of some familiar algorithms - the mean-shift-based algorithm, an efficient graph-based segmentation algorithm, a hybrid algorithm that combines the strengths of both methods, and expectation maximization. Results are presented on the 300 images in the publicly available Berkeley segmentation data set

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Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 6 )