Spatially Constrained Student’s t-Distribution Based Mixture Model for Robust Image Segmentation

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Research Article

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Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision


The finite Gaussian mixture model is one of the most popular frameworks to model classes for probabilistic model-based image segmentation. However, the tails of the Gaussian distribution are often shorter than that required to model an image class. Also, the estimates of the class parameters in this model are affected by the pixels that are atypical of the components of the fitted Gaussian mixture model. In this regard, the paper presents a novel way to model the image as a mixture of finite number of Student’s t-distributions for image segmentation problem. The Student’s t-distribution provides a longer tailed alternative to the Gaussian distribution and gives reduced weight to the outlier observations during the parameter estimation step in finite mixture model. Incorporating the merits of Student’s t-distribution into the hidden Markov random field framework, a novel image segmentation algorithm is proposed for robust and automatic image segmentation, and the performance is demonstrated on a set of HEp-2 cell and natural images. Integrating the bias field correction step within the proposed framework, a novel simultaneous segmentation and bias field correction algorithm has also been proposed for segmentation of magnetic resonance (MR) images. The efficacy of the proposed approach, along with a comparison with related algorithms, is demonstrated on a set of real and simulated brain MR images both qualitatively and quantitatively.

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