International Journal of Computer Vision

, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 107–117

Active Contours Under Topology Control—Genus Preserving Level Sets


DOI: 10.1007/s11263-007-0102-8

Cite this article as:
Ségonne, F. Int J Comput Vis (2008) 79: 107. doi:10.1007/s11263-007-0102-8


We present a novel framework to exert topology control over a level set evolution. Level set methods offer several advantages over parametric active contours, in particular automated topological changes. In some applications, where some a priori knowledge of the target topology is available, topological changes may not be desirable. This is typically the case in biomedical image segmentation, where the topology of the target shape is prescribed by anatomical knowledge. However, topologically constrained evolutions often generate topological barriers that lead to large geometric inconsistencies. We introduce a topologically controlled level set framework that greatly alleviates this problem. Unlike existing work, our method allows connected components to merge, split or vanish under some specific conditions that ensure that the genus of the initial active contour (i.e. its number of handles) is preserved. We demonstrate the strength of our method on a wide range of numerical experiments and illustrate its performance on the segmentation of cortical surfaces and blood vessels.


Geometric deformable model Genus preservation Topology control Topological constraint Level set method Digital topology Active contours Simple points 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Willow, Certis LaboratoryENS/INRIA/ENPCParisFrance

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