Parallel Algorithms for Image Enhancement and Segmentation by Region Growing with an Experimental Study

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This paper presents efficient and portable implementations of a useful image enhancement process, the Symmetric Neighborhood Filter (SNF), and an image segmentation technique which makes use of the SNF and a variant of the conventional connected components algorithm which we call delta-Connected Components. Our general framework is a single-address space, distributed memory programming model. We use efficient techniques for distributing and coalescing data as well as efficient combinations of task and data parallelism. The image segmentation algorithm makes use of an efficient connected components algorithm which uses a novel approach for parallel merging. The algorithms have been coded in Split-C and run on a variety of platforms, including the Thinking Machines CM-5, IBM SP-1 and SP-2, Cray Research T3D, Meiko Scientific CS-2, Intel Paragon, and workstation clusters. Our experimental results are consistent with the theoretical analysis (and provide the best known execution times for segmentation, even when compared with machine-specific implementations.) Our test data include difficult images from the Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite data. More efficient implementations of Split-C will likely result in even faster execution times. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-95-44.)