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Evolutionary Computation

Winter 2014, Vol. 22, No. 4, Pages 525-557
(doi: 10.1162/EVCO_a_00115)
© 2014 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
An Evolutionary Approach for Image Segmentation
Article PDF (2.05 MB)

The paper explores the use of evolutionary techniques in dealing with the image segmentation problem. An image is modeled as a weighted undirected graph, where nodes correspond to pixels, and edges connect similar pixels. A genetic algorithm that uses a fitness function based on an extension of the normalized cut criterion is proposed. The algorithm employs the locus-based representation of individuals, which allows for the partitioning of images without setting the number of segments beforehand. A new concept of nearest neighbor that takes into account not only the spatial location of a pixel, but also the affinity with the other pixels contained in the neighborhood, is also defined. Experimental results show that our approach is able to segment images in a number of regions that conform well to human visual perception. The visual perceptiveness is substantiated by objective evaluation methods based on uniformity of pixels inside a region, and comparison with ground-truth segmentations available for part of the used test images.