, 2012:16,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 24 Sep 2012

Image segmentation algorithm by piecewise smooth approximation

Abstract

We propose a novel image segmentation algorithm using piecewise smooth (PS) approximation to image. The proposed algorithm is inspired by four well-known active contour models, i.e., Chan and Vese’ piecewise constant (PC)/smooth models, the region-scalable fitting model, and the local image fitting model. The four models share the same algorithm structure to find a PC/smooth approximation to the original image; the main difference is how to define the energy functional to be minimized and the PC/smooth function. In this article, pursuing the same idea we introduce different energy functional and PS function to search for the optimal PS approximation of the original image. The initial function with our model can be chosen as a constant function, which implies that the proposed algorithm is robust to initialization or even free of manual initialization. Experiments show that the proposed algorithm is very appropriate for a wider range of images, including images with intensity inhomogeneity and infrared ship images with low contrast and complex background.