A hybrid level set with semantic shape constraint for object segmentation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, 2019, 49 (5), pp. 1558 - 1569
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© 2018 IEEE. This paper presents a hybrid level set method for object segmentation. The method deconstructs segmentation task into two procedures, i.e., shape transformation and curve evolution, which are alternately optimized until convergence. In this framework, only one shape prior encoded by shape context is utilized to estimate a transformation allowing the curve to have the same semantic expression as shape prior, and curve evolution is driven by an energy functional with topology-preserving and kernelized terms. In such a way, the proposed method is featured by the following advantages: 1) hybrid paradigm makes the level set framework possess the ability of incorporating other shape-related techniques about shape descriptor and distance; 2) shape context endows one single prior with semanticity, and hence leads to the competitive performance compared to the ones with multiple shape priors; and 3) additionally, combining topology-preserving and kernelization mechanisms together contributes to realizing a more reasonable segmentation on textured and noisy images. As far as we know, we propose a hybrid level set framework and utilize shape context to guide curve evolution for the first time. Our method is evaluated with synthetic, healthcare, and natural images, as a result, it shows competitive and even better performance compared to the counterparts.
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