Finding Junctions Using the Image Gradient
Junctions are the intersection points of three or more intensity surfaces in an image. An analysis of zero crossings and the gradient near junctions demonstrates that gradient-based edge detection schemes fragment edges at junctions. This fragmentation is caused by the intrinsic pairing of zero crossings and a destructive interference of edge gradients at junctions. Using the previous gradient analysis, we propose a junction detector that finds junctions in edge maps by following gradient ridges and using the minimum direction of saddle points in the gradient. The junction detector is demonstrated on real imagery and previous approaches to junction detection are discussed.