We propose a general purpose image segmentation framework, which involves feature extraction and classification in feature space, followed by flooding and merging in spatial domain. Region growing is based on the computed local measurements and distances from the distribution of features describing the different classes. Using the properties of the label dependent distances spatial coherence is ensured, since the image features are described globally.
The distribution of the features for the different classes are obtained by block-wise unsupervised clustering based on the construction of the minimum spanning tree of the blocks' grid using the Mallows distance and the equipartition of the resulting tree.
The final clustering is obtained by using the centroids algorithm. With high probability and under topological constraints, connected components of the maximum likelihood classification map are used to compute a map of initially labelled pixels.
An efficient flooding algorithm is introduced, namely, Priority Multi-Class Flooding Algorithm (PMCFA), that assign pixels to labels using Bayesian dissimilarity criteria. A new region merging method, which incorporates boundary information, is introduced for obtaining the final segmentation map.
Therefore, the merging stage is based on region features and edge localization. Segmentation results on the Berkeley benchmark data set demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods.