Segmentation and boundary detection using multiscale intensity measurements
Image segmentation is difficult because objects may differ from their background by any of a variety of properties that can be observed in some, but often not all scales. A further complication is that coarse measurements, applied to the image for detecting these properties, often average over properties of neighboring segments, making it difficult to separate the segments and to reliably detect their boundaries. Below we present a method for segmentation that generates and combines multiscale measurements of intensity contrast, texture differences, and boundary integrity. The method is based on our former algorithm SWA, which efficiently detects segments that optimize a normalized-cut like measure by recursively coarsening a graph reflecting similarities between intensities of neighboring pixels. In this process aggregates of pixels of increasing size are gradually collected to form segments. We intervene in this process by computing properties of the aggregates and modifying the graph to reflect these coarse scale measurements. This allows us to detect regions that differ by fine as well as coarse properties, and to accurately locate their boundaries. Furthermore, by combining intensity differences with measures of boundary integrity across neighboring aggregates we can detect regions separated by weak, yet consistent edges.