Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2009

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Saha, Punam K.

First Committee Member

Wu, Xiaodong

Second Committee Member

Bai, Erwei


The knowledge of thresholding and gradient at different tissue interfaces is of paramount interest in image segmentation and other imaging methods and applications. Most thresholding and gradient selection methods primarily focus on image histograms and therefore, fail to harness the information generated by intensity patterns in an image. We present a new thresholding and gradient optimization method which accounts for spatial arrangement of intensities forming different objects in an image. Specifically, we recognize object class uncertainty, a histogram-based feature, and formulate an energy function based on its correlation with image gradients that characterizes the objects and shapes in a given image. Finally, this energy function is used to determine optimum thresholds and gradients for various tissue interfaces. The underlying theory behind the method is that objects manifest themselves with fuzzy boundaries in an acquired image and that, in a probabilistic sense; intensities with high class uncertainty are associated with high image gradients generally indicating object/tissue interfaces. The new method simultaneously determines optimum values for both thresholds and gradient parameters at different object/tissue interfaces. The method has been applied on several 2D and 3D medical image data sets and it has successfully determined both thresholds and gradients for different tissue interfaces even when some of the thresholds are almost impossible to locate in their histograms. The accuracy and reproducibility of the method has been examined using 3D multi-row detector computed tomography images of two cadaveric ankles each scanned thrice with repositioning the specimen between two scans.


class uncertainty, energy surface, optimum thresholding


vi, 32 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 30-32).


Copyright 2009 Yinxiao Liu