A fast level set method for synthetic aperture radar ocean image segmentation

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Segmentation of high noise imagery like Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images is still one of the most challenging tasks in image processing. While level set, a novel approach based on the analysis of the motion of an interface, can be used to address this challenge, the cell-based iterations may make the process of image segmentation remarkably slow, especially for large-size images. For this reason fast level set algorithms such as narrow band and fast marching have been attempted. Built upon these, this paper presents an improved fast level set method for SAR ocean image segmentation. This competent method is dependent on both the intensity driven speed and curvature flow that result in a stable and smooth boundary. Notably, it is optimized to track moving interfaces for keeping up with the point-wise boundary propagation using a single list and a method of fast up-wind scheme iteration. The list facilitates efficient insertion and deletion of pixels on the propagation front. Meanwhile, the local up-wind scheme is used to update the motion of the curvature front instead of solving partial differential equations. Experiments have been carried out on extraction of surface slick features from ERS-2 SAR images to substantiate the efficacy of the proposed fast level set method.




Huang, X., Huang, B., & Li, H. (2009). A fast level set method for synthetic aperture radar ocean image segmentation. Sensors, 9(2), 814–829. https://doi.org/10.3390/s90200814

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