A framework for object segmentation in vector-valued images is presented in this paper. The first scheme proposed is based on geometric active contours moving toward the objects to be detected in the vector-valued image. Object boundaries are obtained as geodesies or minimal weighted-distance curves, where the metric is given by a definition of edges in vector-valued data. The curve flow corresponding to the proposed active contours holds formal existence, uniqueness, stability, and correctness results. The scheme automatically handles changes in the deforming curve topology. The technique is applicable, for example, to color and texture images as well as multiscale representations. We then present an extension of these vector active contours, proposing a possible image flow for vector-valued image segmentation. The algorithm is based on moving each one of the image level sets according to the proposed vector active contours. This extension also shows the relation between active contours and a number of partial-differential-equations-based image processing algorithms as anisotropic diffusion and shock filters. © 1997 Academic Press.
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