#187: Fast and globally convex multiphase active contours for brain MRI segmentation

J. C. Moreno, V. B. S. Prasath, H. Proenca, and K. Palaniappan

Computer Vision and Image Understanding, Volume 125, pgs. 237-250, 2014

segmentation, active contours, globally convex, biomedical

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Multiphase active contour based models are useful in identifying multiple regions with spatial consistency but varying characteristics such as the mean intensities of regions. Segmenting brain magnetic resonance images (MRIs) using a multiphase approach is useful to differentiate white and gray matter tissue for anatomical, functional and disease studies. Multiphase active contour methods are superior to other approaches due to their topological flexibility, accurate boundaries, robustness to image variations and adaptive energy functionals. Globally convex methods are furthermore initialization independent. We extend the relaxed globally convex Chan and Vese two-phase piecewise constant energy minimization formulation of Chan et al. (2006) [1] to the multiphase domain and prove the existence of a global minimizer in a specific space which is one of the novel contributions of the paper. An efficient dual minimization implementation of our binary partitioning function model accurately describes disjoint regions using stable segmentations by avoiding local minima solutions. Experimental results indicate that the proposed approach provides consistently better accuracy than other related multiphase active contour algorithms using four different error metrics (Dice, Rand Index, Global Consistency Error and Variation of Information) even under severe noise, intensity inhomogeneities, and partial volume effects in MRI imagery.