Multi-Object Geodesic Active Contours (MOGAC): A Parallel Sparse-Field Algorithm for Image Segmentation

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An important task for computer vision systems is to segment adjacent structures in images without producing gaps or overlaps. Multi-object Level Set Methods (MLSM) perform this task with the benefit of sub-pixel accuracy. However, current implementations of MLSM are not as computationally or memory efficient as their region growing and graph cut counterparts which lack sub-pixel accuracy. To address this performance gap, we present a novel parallel implementation of MLSM that leverages the sparse properties of the segmentation algorithm to minimize its memory footprint for multiple objects. The new method, Multi-Object Geodesic Active Contours (MOGAC), can represent N objects with just two functions: a label image and unsigned distance field. The time complexity of the algorithm is shown to be O((M^d)/P) for M^d pixels and P processing units in dimension d={2,3}, independent of the number of objects. Results are presented for 2D and 3D image segmentation problems.