Soft Computing

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 611–625

Segmentation of carbon nanotube images through an artificial neural network

  • María Celeste Ramírez Trujillo
  • Teresa E. Alarcón
  • Oscar S. Dalmau
  • Adalberto Zamudio Ojeda

DOI: 10.1007/s00500-016-2426-1

Cite this article as:
Trujillo, M.C.R., Alarcón, T.E., Dalmau, O.S. et al. Soft Comput (2017) 21: 611. doi:10.1007/s00500-016-2426-1


Segmentation of carbon nanotube images is an important task for nanotechnology. The segmentation stage determines the accuracy of the measurement process of nanotube when assessing the quality of nanomaterials. In this work, we propose two segmentation algorithms for carbon nanotube images. Each algorithm includes three stages: preprocessing, segmentation and postprocessing. The first one is applied on images from scanning electron microscopy and employs a matched filter bank in the preprocessing step followed by a neural network in the segmenting phase. The second algorithm uses the Perona–Malik filter for enhancing the nanotube information. The segmentation phase is composed of the relaxed Otsu’s threshold and an artificial neural network. This algorithm is applied on images from transmission electron microscopy. The postprocessing stage, for both algorithms, is based on mathematical morphology. The performance of the proposed algorithms is numerically evaluated by using real image databases, manually segmented by an expert. The algorithm for segmentation of scanning electron microscopy achieved 92.74% of overall accuracy, while the algorithm for segmentation of transmission electron microscopy obtained an accuracy of 73.99% if the whole image is considered. A performance improvement is accomplished if only the region of interest is segmented, arriving to 84.19% of overall accuracy.


Segmentation Artificial neural network Filter bank Thresholding 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología
  • 258033
Programa para el Desarrollo Profesional Docente
  • PROMEP/103.5/11/6834

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación en MatemàticasGuanajuatoMexico

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