A novel scheme for deformable tracking of curvilinear structures in image sequences is presented. The approach is based on B-spline snakes defined by a set of control points whose optimal configuration is determined through efficient discrete optimization. Each control point is associated with a discrete random variable in a MAP-MRF formulation where a set of labels captures the deformation space. In such a context, generic terms are encoded within this MRF in the form of pairwise potentials. The use of pairwise potentials along with the B-spline representation offers nearly perfect approximation of the continuous domain. Efficient linear programming is considered to recover the approximate optimal solution. The method is successfully applied to the tracking of guide-wires in fluoroscopic X-ray sequences of several hundred frames which requires extremely robust techniques.
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