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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 1998 Feb;17(1):74-86.

Partial-volume Bayesian classification of material mixtures in MR volume data using voxel histograms.

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Division of Biology, Beckman Institute, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125, USA.


We present a new algorithm for identifying the distribution of different material types in volumetric datasets such as those produced with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT). Because we allow for mixtures of materials and treat voxels as regions, our technique reduces errors that other classification techniques can create along boundaries between materials and is particularly useful for creating accurate geometric models and renderings from volume data. It also has the potential to make volume measurements more accurately and classifies noisy, low-resolution data well. There are two unusual aspects to our approach. First, we assume that, due to partial-volume effects, or blurring, voxels can contain more than one material, e.g., both muscle and fat; we compute the relative proportion of each material in the voxels. Second, we incorporate information from neighboring voxels into the classification process by reconstructing a continuous function, rho(x), from the samples and then looking at the distribution of values that rho(x) takes on within the region of a voxel. This distribution of values is represented by a histogram taken over the region of the voxel; the mixture of materials that those values measure is identified within the voxel using a probabilistic Bayesian approach that matches the histogram by finding the mixture of materials within each voxel most likely to have created the histogram. The size of regions that we classify is chosen to match the spacing of the samples because the spacing is intrinsically related to the minimum feature size that the reconstructed continuous function can represent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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