A Novel Active Contour Framework. Multi-component Level Set Evolution under Topology Control
We present a novel framework to exert a topology control over a level set evolution. Level set methods offer several advantages over parametric active contours, in particular automated topological changes. In some applications, where some a priori knowledge of the target topology is available, topological changes may not be desirable. A method, based on the concept of simple point borrowed from digital topology, was recently proposed to achieve a strict topology preservation during a level set evolution. However, topologically constrained evolutions often generate topological barriers that lead to large geometric inconsistencies. We introduce a topologically controlled level set framework that greatly alleviates this problem. Unlike existing work, our method allows connected components to merge, split or vanish under some specific conditions that ensure that no topological defects are generated. We demonstrate the strength of our method on a wide range of numerical experiments.