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Correcting curvature-density effects in the Hamilton-Jacobi skeleton

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Publication details

JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
DatePublished - Apr 2006
Issue number4
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)877-891
Original languageEnglish


The Hainilton-Jacobi approach has proven to be a powerful and elegant method for extracting the skeleton of two-dimensional (2-D) shapes. The approach is based on the observation that the normalized flux associated with the inward evolution of the object boundary at nonskeletal points tends to zero as the size of the integration area tends to zero, while the flux is negative at the locations of skeletal points. Nonetheless, the error in calculating the flux on the image lattice is both limited by the pixel resolution and also proportional to the curvature of the boundary evolution front and, hence, unbounded near endpoints. This makes the exact location of endpoints difficult and renders the performance of the skeleton extraction algorithm dependent on a threshold parameter. This problem can be overcome by using interpolation techniques to calculate the flux with subpixel precision. However, here, we develop a method for 2-D skeleton extraction that circumvents the problem by eliminating the curvature contribution to the error. This is done by taking into account variations of density due to boundary curvature. This yields a skeletonization algorithm that gives both better localization and less susceptibility to boundary noise and parameter choice than the Hamilton-Jacobi method.

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    Research areas

  • curvature, Hamilton-Jacobi equations, shape-description, two-dimensional (2-D) skeleton

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