Image segmentation using a multilayer level-set approach
We propose an efficient multilayer segmentation method based on implicit curve evolution and on variational approach. The proposed formulation uses the minimal partition problem as formulated by D. Mumford and J. Shah, and can be seen as a more efficient extension of the segmentation models previously proposed in Chan and Vese (Scale-Space Theories in Computer Vision, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 1682, pp. 141–151, 1999, IEEE Trans Image Process 10(2):266–277, 2001), and Vese and Chan (Int J Comput Vis 50(3):271–293, 2002). The set of unknown discontinuities is represented implicitly by several nested level lines of the same function, as inspired from prior work on island dynamics for epitaxial growth (Caflisch et al. in Appl Math Lett 12(4):13, 1999; Chen et al. in J Comput Phys 167:475, 2001). We present the Euler–Lagrange equations of the proposed minimizations together with theoretical results of energy decrease, existence of minimizers and approximations. We also discuss the choice of the curve regularization and conclude with several experimental results and comparisons for piecewise-constant segmentation of gray-level and color images.