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Boundary detection using simulation of particle motion in a vector image field

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2 Author(s)
N. Eua-Anant ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA, USA ; L. Udpa

This paper introduces a novel approach in image processing based on a vector image model. A major advantage of the model is that it allows vector operations to be performed on an image. An example of a vector operation is the computation of mechanical moments for detecting inhomogeneities in an object or equivalently edges in an image. A new edge operator derived from a vector image model yields an edge vector field analogous to the Hamiltonian gradient field of the image. The distinct feature of the edge vector field is that edge vectors form current loops encompassing the objects. This feature is exploited to develop a new boundary extraction algorithm based on particle motion in a force field. The edge vector field forces a particle to move along the edges while an orthogonal normalized Laplacian gradient vector field guarantees that the particle will not drift away from the edges. The object boundary can be obtained from the convergent path of the particle trajectory. Using a fine stepping factor, the extracted boundary can achieve subpixel accuracy. The proposed algorithm has major advantages over the conventional edge-detection, edge-thinning, and edge-linking techniques in that it effectively utilizes both direction and magnitude of edges. The algorithm is simple, robust and performs very well even on high curvature objects

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 11 )