International Journal of Computer Vision

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 335–351 | Cite as

Kernel Density Estimation and Intrinsic Alignment for Shape Priors in Level Set Segmentation

  • Daniel Cremers
  • Stanley J. Osher
  • Stefano Soatto


In this paper, we make two contributions to the field of level set based image segmentation. Firstly, we propose shape dissimilarity measures on the space of level set functions which are analytically invariant under the action of certain transformation groups. The invariance is obtained by an intrinsic registration of the evolving level set function. In contrast to existing approaches to invariance in the level set framework, this closed-form solution removes the need to iteratively optimize explicit pose parameters. The resulting shape gradient is more accurate in that it takes into account the effect of boundary variation on the object’s pose.

Secondly, based on these invariant shape dissimilarity measures, we propose a statistical shape prior which allows to accurately encode multiple fairly distinct training shapes. This prior constitutes an extension of kernel density estimators to the level set domain. In contrast to the commonly employed Gaussian distribution, such nonparametric density estimators are suited to model aribtrary distributions.

We demonstrate the advantages of this multi-modal shape prior applied to the segmentation and tracking of a partially occluded walking person in a video sequence, and on the segmentation of the left ventricle in cardiac ultrasound images. We give quantitative results on segmentation accuracy and on the dependency of segmentation results on the number of training shapes.


image segmentation shape priors level set methods Bayesian inference alignment kernel density estimation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Cremers
    • 1
  • Stanley J. Osher
    • 2
  • Stefano Soatto
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of BonnGermany
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles

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