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Polyp-Cavity Segmentation of Cold-Water Corals guided by Ambient Occlusion and Ambient Curvature

  • The segmentation of cavities in three-dimensional images of arbitrary objects is a difficult problem since the cavities are usually connected to the outside of the object without any difference in image intensity. Hence, the information whether a voxel belongs to a cavity or the outside needs to be derived from the ambient space. If a voxel is enclosed by object material, it is very likely that this voxel belongs to a cavity. However, there are dense structures where a voxel might still belong to the outside even though it is surrounded to a large degree by the object. This is, for example, the case for coral colonies. Therefore, additional information needs to be considered to distinguish between those cases. In this paper, we introduce the notion of ambient curvature, present an efficient way to compute it, and use it to segment coral polyp cavities by integrating it into the ambient occlusion framework. Moreover, we combine the ambient curvature with other ambient information in a Gaussian mixture model, trained from a few user scribbles, resulting in a significantly improved cavity segmentation. We showcase the superiority of our approach using four coral colonies of very different morphological types. While in this paper we restrict ourselves to coral data, we believe that the concept of ambient curvature is also useful for other data. Furthermore, our approach is not restricted to curvature but can be easily extended to exploit any properties given on an object's surface, thereby adjusting it to specific applications.
Author:Kira Schmitt, Jürgen Titschack, Daniel BaumORCiD
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Eurographics Workshop on Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine (VCBM)
Year of first publication:2022
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