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We derive shortest-path constraints from graph models of structure adjacency relations and introduce them in a joint centroidal Voronoi image clustering and Graph Cut multiobject semiautomatic segmentation framework. The vicinity prior model thus defined is a piecewise-constant model incurring multiple levels of penalization capturing the spatial configuration of structures in multiobject segmentation. Qualitative and quantitative analyses and comparison with a Potts prior-based approach and our previous contribution on synthetic, simulated, and real medical images show that the vicinity prior allows for the correct segmentation of distinct structures having identical intensity profiles and improves the precision of segmentation boundary placement while being fairly robust to clustering resolution. The clustering approach we take to simplify images prior to segmentation strikes a good balance between boundary adaptivity and cluster compactness criteria furthermore allowing to control the trade-off. Compared with a direct application of segmentation on voxels, the clustering step improves the overall runtime and memory footprint of the segmentation process up to an order of magnitude without compromising the quality of the result.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2013