Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 78, Issue 23, pp 33659–33677 | Cite as

A novel region-based active contour model based on kernel function for image segmentation

  • Jin LiuEmail author
  • Shengnan Sun
  • Yue Chen


It is a difficult task to accurately segment images with intensity inhomogeneity, because most of existing algorithms are based upon the assumption of the homogeneity of image intensity. In this paper, we propose a novel region-based active contour model, referred to as the K-GLIF, which utilizes both global and local image intensity fittings with kernel functions. The model consists of an intensity fitting term and a new regularization term. The intensity fitting term of the level set function is the gradient descent flow that minimizes the global binary fitting energy functional. The local intensity fitting value based on the generalized Gaussian kernel function is then incorporated into the global intensity fitting value to form the weighted intensity fitting value on the two sides of the contour. Owing to the kernel function, the intensity information in local regions is extracted to guide the motion of the contour, which enables the model to effectively segment images with intensity inhomogeneity and smooth noise. A new regularization term is used to control the smoothness of the level set function and avoid complicated re-initialization. Experimental results and comparisons with other models of inhomogeneous images, synthetic images, medical images, multi-object images, natural and infrared images show that the proposed K-GLIF model improves the quality of image segmentation in terms of accuracy and robustness of initial contours.


Image segmentation Level set Active contour model Local CV model Intensity inhomogeneity 



This research was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61101246) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. JB150209).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Electronic EngineeringXidian UniversityXi’anChina

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