Tsinghua Science and Technology


medical image, unsupervised segmentation, Markov chain


The accurate segmentation of medical images is crucial to medical care and research; however, many efficient supervised image segmentation methods require sufficient pixel level labels. Such requirement is difficult to meet in practice and even impossible in some cases, e.g., rare Pathoma images. Inspired by traditional unsupervised methods, we propose a novel Chan-Vese model based on the Markov chain for unsupervised medical image segmentation. It combines local information brought by superpixels with the global difference between the target tissue and the background. Based on the Chan-Vese model, we utilize weight maps generated by the Markov chain to model and solve the segmentation problem iteratively using the min-cut algorithm at the superpixel level. Our method exploits abundant boundary and local region information in segmentation and thus can handle images with intensity inhomogeneity and object sparsity. In our method, users gain the power of fine-tuning parameters to achieve satisfactory results for each segmentation. By contrast, the result from deep learning based methods is rigid. The performance of our method is assessed by using four Computerized Tomography (CT) datasets. Experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms traditional unsupervised segmentation techniques.


Tsinghua University Press