Three-dimensional skeletonization for computer-assisted treatment planning in radiosurgery.
This paper describes a new algorithm for skeletonization of two- (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) objects based on ridge extraction. Ridges are formed when grassfire fronts collapse during grassfire propagation and they correspond to the locus of skeleton. The iso-distance contours/surfaces of a distance map are analogous to the grassfire fronts. They are locally smooth everywhere except at ridge locations. The new skeletonization algorithm extracts these ridge points based on local curvature measurement and is rotational invariant. It requires one scan of the image for curvature detection in any dimension, and is much faster than thinning methods. Connectivity checks are not required and the algorithm is extensible to higher dimensions. Our 3D skeletonization method is used in a novel algorithm to guide computerized planning of radiosurgical treatment of brain tumors.
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