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Neuroimage. 2003 Mar;18(3):685-96.

Multicontext fuzzy clustering for separation of brain tissues in magnetic resonance images.

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National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, People's Republic of China.


A local image model is proposed to eliminate the adverse impact of both artificial and inherent intensity inhomogeneities in magnetic resonance imaging on intensity-based image segmentation methods. The estimation and correction procedures for intensity inhomogeneities are no longer indispensable because the highly convoluted spatial distribution of different tissues in the brain is taken into consideration. On the basis of the local image model, multicontext fuzzy clustering (MCFC) is proposed for classifying 2D and 3D MR data into tissues of white matter, gray matter, and cerebral spinal fluid automatically. In MCFC, multiple clustering contexts are generated for each pixel, and fuzzy clustering is independently performed in each context to calculate the degree of membership of a pixel to each tissue class. To maintain the statistical reliability and spatial continuity of membership distributions, a fusion strategy is adopted to integrate the clustering outcomes from different contexts. The fusion result is taken as the final membership value of the pixel. Experimental results on both real MR images and simulated volumetric MR data show that MCFC outperforms the classic fuzzy c-means (FCM) as well as other segmentation methods that deal with intensity inhomogeneities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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