Universality in the merging dynamics of parametric active contours: a study in MRI based lung segmentation

Amit K. Chattopadhyay, Nilanjan Ray, Scott T. Acton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Measurement of lung ventilation is one of the most reliable techniques in diagnosing pulmonary diseases. The time-consuming and bias-prone traditional methods using hyperpolarized H 3He and 1H magnetic resonance imageries have recently been improved by an automated technique based on 'multiple active contour evolution'. This method involves a simultaneous evolution of multiple initial conditions, called 'snakes', eventually leading to their 'merging' and is entirely independent of the shapes and sizes of snakes or other parametric details. The objective of this paper is to show, through a theoretical analysis, that the functional dynamics of merging as depicted in the active contour method has a direct analogue in statistical physics and this explains its 'universality'. We show that the multiple active contour method has an universal scaling behaviour akin to that of classical nucleation in two spatial dimensions. We prove our point by comparing the numerically evaluated exponents with an equivalent thermodynamic model. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number148
    Number of pages11
    JournalNew Journal of Physics
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2005


    • active contour method
    • lung segmentation
    • lung ventilation
    • statistical physics
    • iImage segmentation
    • mathematical models
    • nucleation
    • pulmonary diseases
    • statistical methods
    • thermodynamics
    • magnetic resonance imaging


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