This paper introduces the notion of soft segmentation and the use of a weighted linked pyramid algorithm to compute it. A fundamental problem of region segmentation is that for many images no unique, correct region boundaries can be determined. In this situation, the normal desire for a definitive crisp segmentation may be unreasonable. It is proposed that soft segmentation is a more natural way to segment digital image data than crisp segmentation. One method of deriving a soft segmentation from a weighted linked pyramid is shown. We introduce methods for comparing a soft segmentation with a crisp one and show that in some ways the soft segmentation is better. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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