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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 145343, 11 pages
Research Article

Variational Level Set Method for Two-Stage Image Segmentation Based on Morphological Gradients

College of Mathematics and Physics, Chongqing University of Science and Technology, Chongqing 401331, China

Received 11 June 2014; Revised 9 October 2014; Accepted 9 October 2014; Published 21 October 2014

Academic Editor: Swagatam Das

Copyright © 2014 Zemin Ren. 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.


We use variational level set method and transition region extraction techniques to achieve image segmentation task. The proposed scheme is done by two steps. We first develop a novel algorithm to extract transition region based on the morphological gradient. After this, we integrate the transition region into a variational level set framework and develop a novel geometric active contour model, which include an external energy based on transition region and fractional order edge indicator function. The external energy is used to drive the zero level set toward the desired image features, such as object boundaries. Due to this external energy, the proposed model allows for more flexible initialization. The fractional order edge indicator function is incorporated into the length regularization term to diminish the influence of noise. Moreover, internal energy is added into the proposed model to penalize the deviation of the level set function from a signed distance function. The results evolution of the level set function is the gradient flow that minimizes the overall energy functional. The proposed model has been applied to both synthetic and real images with promising results.