Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2016

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gary E. Christensen


This thesis compares and contrasts currents- and varifolds-based diffeomorphic image registration approaches for registering tree-like structures in the lung and surface of the lung. In these approaches, curve-like structures in the lung—for example, the skeletons of vessels and airways segmentation—and surface of the lung are represented by currents or varifolds in the dual space of a Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space (RKHS). Currents and varifolds representations are discretized and are parameterized via of a collection of momenta. A momenta corresponds to a line segment via the coordinates of the center of the line segment and the tangent direction of the line segment at the center. A momentum corresponds to a mesh via the coordinates of the center of the mesh and the normal direction of the mesh at the center. The magnitude of the tangent vector for the line segment and the normal vector for the mesh are the length of the line segment and the area of the mesh respectively.

A varifolds-based registration approach is similar to currents except that two varifolds representations are aligned independent of the tangent (normal) vector orientation. An advantage of varifolds over currents is that the orientation of the tangent vectors can be difficult to determine

especially when the vessel and airway trees are not connected. In this thesis, we examine the image registration sensitivity and accuracy of currents- and varifolds-based registration as a function of the number and location of momenta used to represent tree like-structures in the lung and the surface of the lung. The registrations presented in this thesis were generated using the Deformetrica software package, which is publicly available at


currents, Diffeomorphic Image Registration, Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space (RKHS), varifolds


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