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<p><it>Abstract</it>—Image segmentation based on contour extraction usually involves three stages of image operations: feature extraction, edge detection and edge linking. This paper is devoted to the first stage: a method to design feature extractors used to detect edges from noisy and/or blurred images. The method relies on a model that describes the existence of image discontinuities (e.g. edges) in terms of covariance functions. The feature extractor transforms the input image into a “log-likelihood ratio” image. Such an image is a good starting point of the edge detection stage since it represents a balanced trade-off between signal-to-noise ratio and the ability to resolve detailed structures. For 1-D signals, the performance of the edge detector based on this feature extractor is quantitatively assessed by the so called “average risk measure.” The results are compared with the performances of 1-D edge detectors known from literature. Generalizations to 2-D operators are given. Applications on real world images are presented showing the capability of the covariance model to build edge and line feature extractors. Finally it is shown that the covariance model can be coupled to a MRF-model of edge configurations so as to arrive at a maximum <it>a posteriori</it> estimate of the edges or lines in the image.</p>
Edge detection, line detection, image processing, image segmentation, feature extraction, MRF.

F. v. Heijden, "Edge and Line Feature Extraction Based on Covariance Models," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, vol. 17, no. , pp. 16-33, 1995.
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