This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
An Unbiased Detector of Curvilinear Structures
February 1998 (vol. 20 no. 2)
pp. 113-125

Abstract—The extraction of curvilinear structures is an important low-level operation in computer vision that has many applications. Most existing operators use a simple model for the line that is to be extracted, i.e., they do not take into account the surroundings of a line. This leads to the undesired consequence that the line will be extracted in the wrong position whenever a line with different lateral contrast is extracted. In contrast, the algorithm proposed in this paper uses an explicit model for lines and their surroundings. By analyzing the scale-space behavior of a model line profile, it is shown how the bias that is induced by asymmetrical lines can be removed. Furthermore, the algorithm not only returns the precise subpixel line position, but also the width of the line for each line point, also with subpixel accuracy.

[1] A. Baumgartner, C. Steger, H. Mayer, and W. Eckstein, "Multi-resolution, Semantic Objects, and Context for Road Extraction," Semantic Modeling for the Acquisition of Topographic Information From Images and Maps, W. Förstner and L. Plümer, eds., pp. 140-156.Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser Verlag, 1997.
[2] C. Coppini, M. Demi, R. Poli, and G. Valli, "An Artificial Vision System for X-Ray Images of Human Coronary Trees," IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 156-162, Feb. 1993.
[3] J.B.A. Maintz, P.A. van den Elsen, and M.A. Viergever, “Evaluation of Ridge Seeking Operators for Multimodality Medical Image Matching,” IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 353-365, Apr. 1996.
[4] M.A. Fischler, J.M. Tenenbaum, and H.C. Wolf, "Detection of Roads and Linear Structures in Low-Resolution Aerial Imagery Using a Multisource Knowledge Integration Technique," Computer Graphics and Image Processing, vol. 15, pp. 201-223, 1981.
[5] D. Geman and B. Jedynak, An Active Testing Model for Tracking Roads in Satellite Images IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 1-14, Jan. 1996.
[6] M.A. Fischler, "The Perception of Linear Structure: A Generic Linker," Image Understanding Workshop, pp. 1,565-1,579.San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1994.
[7] M.A. Fischler and H.C. Wolf, "Linear Delineation," Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pp. 351-356.Los Alamitos, Calif: IEEE CS Press, 1983.
[8] T.M. Koller, G. Gerig, G. Szekely, and D. Dettwiler, “Multiscale Detection of Curvilinear Structures in 2-D and 3-D Image Data,” Proc. Fifth Int'l Conf. Computer Vision (ICCV '95), pp. 864-869, 1995.
[9] J.B. Subirana-Vilanova and K.K. Sung, "Multi-Scale Vector-Ridge-Detection for Perceptual Organization Without Edges," A.I. Memo 1318, MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab., Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 1992.
[10] I.S. Kweon and T. Kanade, "Extracting Topographic Terrain Features From Elevation Maps," Computer Vision, Graphics, and Image Processing: Image Understanding, vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 171-182, Mar. 1994.
[11] D. Eberly, R. Gardner, B. Morse, S. Pizer, and C. Scharlach, "Ridges for Image Analysis," Technical Report TR93-055, Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1993.
[12] J.J. Koenderink and A.J. van Doorn, "Two-Plus-One-Dimensional Differential Geometry," Pattern Recognition Letters, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 439-443, May 1994.
[13] O. Monga, N. Armande, and P. Montesinos, "Thin Nets and Crest Lines: Application to Satellite Data and Medical Images," Rapport de Recherche 2480, INRIA, Rocquencourt, France, Feb. 1995.
[14] A. Busch, "A Common Framework for the Extraction of Lines and Edges," Int'l Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, vol. 31, part B3, pp. 88-93, 1996.
[15] L. Wang and T. Pavlidis, "Detection of Curved and Straight Segments From Gray Scale Topography," Computer Vision, Graphics, and Image Processing: Image Understanding, vol. 58, no. 3, pp. 352-365, Nov. 1993.
[16] L. Wang and T. Pavlidis,“Direct gray scale extraction of features for character recognition,” IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 15, no. 10, pp. 1,053-1,067, Oct. 1993.
[17] R.M. Haralick, L.T. Watson, and T.J. Laffey, "The Topographic Primal Sketch," Int'l J. Robotics Research, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 50-72, 1983.
[18] T. Lindeberg, “Edge Detection and Ridge Detection with Automatic Scale Selection,” Proc. IEEE Conf. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR '96), pp. 465-470, 1996.
[19] L.A. Iverson and S.W. Zucker, “Logical/Linear Operators for Image Curves,” IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 17, no. 10, pp. 982-996, Oct. 1995.
[20] C. Steger, "Extracting Curvilinear Structures: A Differential Geometric Approach," Fourth European Conf. Computer Vision, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 1,064, B. Buxton and R. Cipolla, eds. pp. 630-641. Springer-Verlag, 1996.
[21] L.M.J. Florack, B.M. ter Haar Romney, J.J. Koenderink, and M.A. Viergever, "Scale and the Differential Structure of Images," Image and Vision Computing, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 376-388, July 1992.
[22] R. Deriche and G. Giraudon, "A Computational Approach for Corner and Vertex Detection," Int'l J. Computer Vision, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 101-124, Apr. 1993.
[23] W.H. Press, S.A. Teukolsky, W.T. Vetterling, and B.P. Flannery, Numerical Recipes in C: The Art of Scientific Computing, 2nd ed. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992.
[24] M. Shah, A. Sood, and R. Jain, "Pulse and Staircase Edge Models," Computer Vision, Graphics, and Image Processing, vol. 34, pp. 321-343, 1986.
[25] J.S. Chen and G. Medioni, "Detection, Localization, and Estimation of Edges," IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 191-198, Feb. 1989.
[26] T. Lindeberg, Scale-Space Theory in Computer Vision.Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994.
[27] R. Deriche, "Recursively Implementing the Gaussian and Its Derivatives," Rapport de Recherche 1893, INRIA, Sophia Antipolis, France, Apr. 1993.
[28] J. Canny, "A Computational Approach to Edge Detection," IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 679-698, Nov. 1986.
[29] A. Rosenfeld and A.C. Kak, Digital Picture Processing, 2nd ed., vol. 2. San Diego, Calif.: Academic Press, Inc., 1982.
[30] D.F. Rogers, Procedural Elements for Computer Graphics.New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1985.
[31] H. Mayer and C. Steger, "A New Approach for Line Extraction and Its Integration in a Multi-Scale, Multi-Abstraction-Level Road Extraction System," Mapping Buildings, Roads and Other Man-Made Structures From Images, F. Leberl, R. Kalliany, and M. Gruber, eds., pp. 331-348.Vienna: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1996.
[32] A.M. López and J. Serrat, "Tracing Crease Curves by Solving a System of Differential Equations," Fourth European Conf. Computer Vision, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 1,064, B. Buxton and R. Cipolla, eds., pp. 241-250. Springer-Verlag, 1996.

Index Terms:
Feature extraction, curvilinear structures, lines, scale-space, contour linking, low-level processing, aerial images, medical images.
Carsten Steger, "An Unbiased Detector of Curvilinear Structures," IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 113-125, Feb. 1998, doi:10.1109/34.659930
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.