A New Optimized Thresholding Method Using Ant Colony Algorithm for MR Brain Image Segmentation

  • Bahar Khorram
  • Mehran Yazdi


Image segmentation is considered as one of the most fundamental tasks in image processing applications. Segmentation of magnetic resonance (MR) brain images is also an important pre-processing step, since many neural disorders are associated with brain’s volume changes. As a result, brain image segmentation can be considered as an essential measure toward automated diagnosis or interpretation of regions of interest, which can help surgical planning, analyzing changes of brain’s volume in different tissue types, and identifying neural disorders. In many neural disorders such as Alzheimer and epilepsy, determining the volume of different brain tissues (i.e., white matter, gray matter, and cerebrospinal fluids) has been proven to be effective in quantifying diseases. A traditional way for segmenting brain images involves the use of a medical expert’s experience in manually determining the boundary of different regions of interest in brain images. It may seem that manual segmentation of MR brain images by an expert is the first and the best choice. However, this method is proved to be time-consuming and challenging. Hence, numerous MR brain image segmentation methods with different degrees of complexity and accuracy have been introduced recently. Our work proposes an optimized thresholding method for segmentation of MR brain images using biologically inspired ant colony algorithm. In this proposed algorithm, textural features are adopted as heuristic information. Besides, post-processing image enhancement based on homogeneity is also performed to achieve a better performance. The empirical results on axial T1-weighted MR brain images have demonstrated competitive accuracy to traditional meta-heuristic methods, K-means, and expectation maximization.


Segmentation MR brain images Ant colony optimization Meta-heuristic algorithms Multilevel thresholding Textural feature 


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Copyright information

© Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Electrical and Computer EngineeringShiraz UniversityShirazIran

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