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Computing Geometric Properties of Images Represented by Linear Quadtrees

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2 Author(s)
Hanan Samet ; Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. ; Markku Tamminen

The region quadtree is a hierarchical data structure that finds use in applications such as image processing, computer graphics, pattern recognition, robotics, and cartography. In order to save space, a number of pointerless quadtree representations (termed linear quadtrees) have been proposed. One representation maintains the nodes in a list ordered according to a preorder traversal of the quadtree. Using such an image representation and a graph definition of a quadtree, a general algorithm to compute geometric image properties such as the perimeter, the Euler number, and the connected components of an image is developed and analyzed. The algorithm differs from the conventional approaches to images represented by quadtrees in that it does not make use of neighbor finding methods that require the location of a nearest common ancestor. Instead, it makes use of a staircase-like data structure to represent the blocks that have been already processed. The worst-case execution time of the algorithm, when used to compute the perimeter, is proportional to the number of leaf nodes in the quadtree, which is optimal. For an image of size 2n × 2n, the perimeter algorithm requires only four arrays of 2n positions each for working storage. This makes it well suited to processing linear quadtrees residing in secondary storage. Implementation experience has confirmed its superiority to existing approaches to computing geometric properties for images represented by quadtrees.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence  (Volume:PAMI-7 ,  Issue: 2 )