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Efficient Skeletonization of Volumetric Objects
July-September 1999 (vol. 5 no. 3)
pp. 196-209

Abstract—Skeletonization promises to become a powerful tool for compact shape description, path planning, and other applications. However, current techniques can seldom efficiently process real, complicated 3D data sets, such as MRI and CT data of human organs. In this paper, we present an efficient voxel-coding based algorithm for skeletonization of 3D voxelized objects. The skeletons are interpreted as connected centerlines, consisting of sequences of medial points of consecutive clusters. These centerlines are initially extracted as paths of voxels, followed by medial point replacement, refinement, smoothness, and connection operations. The voxel-coding techniques have been proposed for each of these operations in a uniform and systematic fashion. In addition to preserving basic connectivity and centeredness, the algorithm is characterized by straightforward computation, no sensitivity to object boundary complexity, explicit extraction of ready-to-parameterize and branch-controlled skeletons, and efficient object hole detection. These issues are rarely discussed in traditional methods. A range of 3D medical MRI and CT data sets were used for testing the algorithm, demonstrating its utility.

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Index Terms:
3D skeleton and centerline, medial axis, volume subdivision, region growing, hole detection, distance transformation, voxel-coding.
Yong Zhou, Arthur W. Toga, "Efficient Skeletonization of Volumetric Objects," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 196-209, July-Sept. 1999, doi:10.1109/2945.795212
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