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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 5689346, 12 pages
Research Article

A Novel Method for the Separation of Overlapping Pollen Species for Automated Detection and Classification

1Departamento de Posgrado, Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Lerdo, Tecnológico 1555, Placido Domingo, 35150 Lerdo, DG, Mexico
2Departamento de Posgrado, Instituto Tecnológico de la Laguna, Boulevard Revolución, Centro, 27000 Torreón, CO, Mexico

Received 9 December 2015; Accepted 15 February 2016

Academic Editor: Kazuhisa Nishizawa

Copyright © 2016 Santiago Tello-Mijares and Francisco Flores. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The identification of pollen in an automated way will accelerate different tasks and applications of palynology to aid in, among others, climate change studies, medical allergies calendar, and forensic science. The aim of this paper is to develop a system that automatically captures a hundred microscopic images of pollen and classifies them into the 12 different species from Lagunera Region, Mexico. Many times, the pollen is overlapping on the microscopic images, which increases the difficulty for its automated identification and classification. This paper focuses on a method to segment the overlapping pollen. First, the proposed method segments the overlapping pollen. Second, the method separates the pollen based on the mean shift process (100% segmentation) and erosion by H-minima based on the Fibonacci series. Thus, pollen is characterized by its shape, color, and texture for training and evaluating the performance of three classification techniques: random tree forest, multilayer perceptron, and Bayes net. Using the newly developed system, we obtained segmentation results of 100% and classification on top of 96.2% and 96.1% in recall and precision using multilayer perceptron in twofold cross validation.