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Watersheds in Digital Spaces: An Efficient Algorithm Based on Immersion Simulations
June 1991 (vol. 13 no. 6)
pp. 583-598

A fast and flexible algorithm for computing watersheds in digital gray-scale images is introduced. A review of watersheds and related motion is first presented, and the major methods to determine watersheds are discussed. The algorithm is based on an immersion process analogy, in which the flooding of the water in the picture is efficiently simulated using of queue of pixel. It is described in detail provided in a pseudo C language. The accuracy of this algorithm is proven to be superior to that of the existing implementations, and it is shown that its adaptation to any kind of digital grid and its generalization to n-dimensional images (and even to graphs) are straightforward. The algorithm is reported to be faster than any other watershed algorithm. Applications of this algorithm with regard to picture segmentation are presented for magnetic resonance (MR) imagery and for digital elevation models. An example of 3-D watershed is also provided.

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Index Terms:
magnetic resonance imagery; computerised picture processing; watersheds; digital gray-scale images; pseudo C language; picture segmentation; digital elevation models; computerised picture processing
Citation:
L. Vincent, P. Soille, "Watersheds in Digital Spaces: An Efficient Algorithm Based on Immersion Simulations," IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 583-598, June 1991, doi:10.1109/34.87344
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