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S. Bagher Rezazad

Ahmad Ayatollahi

avatollahi@,iust.ac.ir

sbrezazad@hotmaiI.com

Abstract

2. BASE IDEA

computational complexity. In this paper, a new algorithm

is proposed which is simple and fast. First, a set ofpoints

in an image is chosen which forms small squares. The

value of each point is calculated using a lowpass filter.

The values of other points can be calculated by using the

local linear distribution. It is possible that there is a curve

corresponding to each level in any square. Therefore,for

each level, one or more closed curves are formed in the

full image. These curves are the edges of the image. Now,

a set of levels must be chosen so that their corresponding

curves produce the desired edges. If a larger number of

levels are used, more details will be detected, otherwise

only the objects will be recognized. This algon'thm is easy

to implement and very fast in execution, and can be used

in a variety of applications such as normal edge detection,

object detection. boundary detection and detecting objects

as polygons, this assists in recognizing the shape and

calculating the volume,gravity center and etc.

recognition; Contour Tracing; Image Processing.

Consider a square as shown in figure 1. If L,, L2, L3

and 4 are the gray level values corresponding to the

points of the square, we can calculate values of all the

points by using the linear distribution. Suppose that Land Lare the minimum and maximum values of the L,,

L2, L3 and L4, respectively. For each level (L), in the

interval [L-, L-1, there is a line that all of its points

have the values equal to L. This line is known as the local

edge corresponding to L. There are two special cases, the

first case occurs when L- is equal to L-. In this case,

there is no edge. The second case occurs when (a) L1 > L,

L2 < L, L3 > L and L4 < L, or @) Li < L, L2 z L, L3 < L

and L4 > L. In this case, there are two lines as edge.

The detected edges can be described in pixel form or

in line form with two points. The pixel form is used for

edge image output whilst the line form is used for polygon

form output. In the line form, the point coordinates can be

in integer or floating point format depending on the

application.

1. INTRODUCTION

The edge detection process is useful for analyzing

images. Most edge detection algorithms use the gradient

operators such as Sobel, Robert, Prewitt, and Canny

operators [1,2,3,4] or other difference calculations such as

fmt and second derivatives [4]. Therefore, an edge

intensity corresponding to each point is obtained. A

threshold value is required to identify the real edges [4].

For these algorithms complex calculations are needed to

increase the accuracy and performance. Also the output of

these algorithms is often, an edge image that must be

analyzed using a complex post processing. Thus the

process time is increased and the speed is very low. In this

paper, an algorithm is proposed that (a) doesn't use any

difference operation, (b) reduces the calculation

complexity, and (c) is able to give the results as an image

or several polygons.

Suppose that the original image is divided into small

equal sized squares, as shown in the Fig.2. Considering

the suitable values for the cross points, we can fmd the

local edges corresponding to the chosen gray Level, L, in

0-7803-7781-8/03/$17.00 8 2003 IEEE

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local edges form an edge image for gray level L. Smaller

square sizes increase the accuracy and detection of more

details, and the larger square sizes increase the speed of

the process.

number of levels in the set and the their gray level .values

depend on the application. If a large number of levels are

used, more details will be detected, otherwise only the

objects will be recognized. To choose the desired 'levels,

several methods are available. One method is using the

threshold values of the image. To find the thmshold

values, the image's histogram can be used. Generally, the

histogram of the image is divided into two or more

sections with approximately equal frequency content. The

boundary values can he the desired levels.

and form one or more closed curves. Thus, the edge

linking process is not required and the process time is

decreased.

In the proposed algorithm only the values of the

cross points of the squares are used in edge detection

process. This increases the speed, but there are many

pixels in the image that are not used in the process and the

accuracy is decreased. To prevent this, the values of the

cross points are replaced with the output of a lowpass

filter. This filter can be an averaging or median filter with

a fixed window size. If the filter window size is large, a

higher number of pixels will be used in the process and

accuracy is increased. If the filter window size is small,

the speed will increase. Therefore, depending on the

application, the optimum s u e of the filter window must be

set. Normally, if the filter window size is equal to square

size, all pixels of the original image are used in the edge

detection process, only once.

algorithm is normal edge detection and obtaining the final

edge image. The first step is choosing a desired set of

levels. It is clear that there can be several edges or inon at

all in each square. In real conditions, if the squares are

small enough, it is not expected that there is marc than

one edge in each square. To have a maximum of one edge

in each square, there are two possibilities. The first

possibility is prioritizing the levels in the set. If a level

with higher priority creates an edge, the lower priority

levels will be ignored. The second possibility is choosing

the best level from the set. For example, the median value

of the levels that have an edge in the square is chosen.

In addition due to the lack of differences it is possible to

create ineffectual short edges. To prevent this it is possible

to ignore the squares that have a standard deviation

smaller than a threshold value.

As mentioned above, for each specified gray level,

there is an edge image. The final edge image includes

several individual edge images. Now, we must find a set

of gray levels to be the desired full edge image. The

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5. OBJECT DETECTION

Object detection is another application for this

algorithm, which ignores the edge details. For (object

detection it is better to increase the size of the filter

window. In this circumstance by blurring the image

hluning the image weakens the detail and the edge

detection process is orientated to object detection.

Since for object detection closed curves are required. none

of the local edges can be ignored, unlike the normal edge

detection.

To prevent the creation of ineffectual short edges, it

is possible to delete the objects, which have a smaller area

than a threshold value. To avoid complexity, instead of

calculating the area of the object, it is possible to use the

numher of squares that incorporate an edge.

In the images that the light distribution is not

homogenous, some objects are detected as several

segmented objects. To avoid this, we can use a non-linear

function of gray levels vs. the image coordinates.

6. BOUNDARY DETECTION

Usually the edges obtained from edge detection

process are linked and form the boundaries. Edge liking

is a complicated and time-consumingprocess. with

to the proposed algorithm, the edges obtained are created

continuously linked. This eliminates the edge liking

process; therefore the process time is reduced

dramatically.

boundary detection, detecting the object as an image or

polygon.

E. Having the object as a polygon allows the physical

analysis of the image. This feature has a wide range of

applications.

F. In object detections as a polygon, the required memory

for result storage is dramatically reduced.

POLYGON

Unlike the three previous kinds of applications, it is

possible to regard the local edges as a line with two

coordinates, which are integer or floating point.

In this case the objects that are created as a closed curve,

are formed as a polygon. This assists the physical

characteristic calculations of the object, such as size,

gravity center, shape and average light intensity, which

eases the analysis of the image content.

8. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS

Fig. 3(a) shows a 720x576 original image. The

result of normal edge detection is shown in Fig. 3@). In

this process three levels are chosen, and, the square size

and the filter window size are equal to 3. The edge image

includes many of edges in detail.

Fig. 4(a) shows a 420x528 CT image. The result of

proposed algorithm for boundary detection and object

recognizing are shown in Fig. 4(b) and 4(c), respectively.

In these processes only one level is chosen, and, the

square size and the filter window s u e are equal to 3.

9. CONCLUSION

The features of this approach are as follows:

A. Due to the reduction of the points that are directly

calculated in the edges, the computational load and

process time are decreased.

B. Due to the nature of the algorithm, it is possible to

process the image using a multiprocessing approach, even

in object detections. Therefore the processing time is

reduced additionally.

C. This algorithm is very flexible, and can be adjusted to

meet the various speed, and accuracy requirements of the

applications.

@)

Fig. 3. (a) Original image and (b) Its normal

edge image

1185 -

REFERENCES

[I] Gonzalez, R., Digital Image Processing, Addison,

1992.

[2] S. Banks, Signal Processing, Image Processing and

Pattem Recognition, Prentice Hall, 1989.

[3] B. McCane, Edge Detection.

[4] Canny, J., A computational approach to edge

detection, IEEE Transaction on Pattem Analysis arid

Machine Intelligence, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 679-698,

November 1986.

(4

Fig. 4. (a) A CT image, (b) A boundary

detected image, a n d (c) An detected object

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