Segmentation of Multi-Channel Image with Markov Random Field Based Active Contour Model

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Segmentation is an important research area in image processing and computer vision. The essential purpose of research work is to achieve two goals: (i) partition the image into homogeneous regions based on certain properties, and (ii) accurately track the boundary for each region. In this study, we will present a novel framework that is designed to fulfill these requirements. Distinguished from most existing approaches, our method consists of three steps in the segmentation processes: global region segmentation, control points searching and object boundary tracking. In step one, we apply Markov Random Field (MRF) modeling to multi-channel images and propose a robust energy minimization approach to solve the multi-dimensional Markov Random Field. In step two, control points are found along the target region boundary by using a maximum reliability criterion and deployed to automatically initialize a Minimum Path Approach (MPA). Finally, the active contour evolves to the optimal solution in the fine-tuning process. In this study, we have applied this framework to color images and multi-contrast weighting magnetic resonance image data. The experimental results show encouraging performance. Moreover, the proposed approach also has the potential to deal with topology changing and composite object problems in boundary tracking.

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