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Feature Based Nonrigid Brain MR Image Registration With Symmetric Alpha Stable Filters

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2 Author(s)
Shu Liao ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Hong Kong Univ. of Sci. & Technol., Hong Kong, China ; Albert C. S. Chung

A new feature based nonrigid image registration method for magnetic resonance (MR) brain images is presented in this paper. Each image voxel is represented by a rotation invariant feature vector, which is computed by passing the input image volumes through a new bank of symmetric alpha stable (S?S) filters. There are three main contributions presented in this paper. First, this work is motivated by the fact that the frequency spectrums of the brain MR images often exhibit non-Gaussian heavy-tail behavior which cannot be satisfactorily modeled by the conventional Gabor filters. To this end, we propose the use of S?S filters to model such behavior and show that the Gabor filter is a special case of the S?S filter. Second, the maximum response orientation (MRO) selection criterion is designed to extract rotation invariant features for registration tasks. The MRO selection criterion also significantly reduces the number of dimensions of feature vectors and therefore lowers the computation time. Third, in case the segmentations of the input image volumes are available, the Fisher's separation criterion (FSC) is introduced such that the discriminating power of different feature types can be directly compared with each other before performing the registration process. Using FSC, weights can also be assigned automatically to different voxels in the brain MR images. The weight of each voxel determined by FSC reflects how distinctive and salient the voxel is. Using the most distinctive and salient voxels at the initial stage to drive the registration can reduce the risk of being trapped in the local optimum during image registration process. The larger the weight, the more important the voxel. With the extracted feature vectors and the associated weights, the proposed method registers the source and the target images in a hierarchical multiresolution manner. The proposed method has been intensively evaluated on both simulated and re- l 3-D datasets obtained from BrainWeb and Internet Brain Segmentation Repository (IBSR), respectively, and compared with HAMMER, an extended version of HAMMER based on local histograms (LHF), FFD, Demons, and the Gabor filter based registration method. It is shown that the proposed method achieves the highest registration accuracy among the five widely used image registration methods.

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IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )