Reconstructing Curvilinear Networks using Path Classifiers and Integer Programming

Engin Turetken, Fethallah Benmansour, Bjoern Andres, Przemyslaw Glowacki, Hanspeter Pfister, and Pascal Fua.

(IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 2016.)

We propose a novel approach to automated delineation of curvilinear structures that form complex and potentially loopy networks. By representing the image data as a graph of potential paths, we first show how to weight these paths using discriminatively-trained classifiers that are both robust and generic enough to be applied to very different imaging modalities. We then present an Integer Programming approach to finding the optimal subset of paths, subject to structural and topological constraints that eliminate implausible solutions. Unlike earlier approaches that assume a tree topology for the networks, ours explicitly models the fact that the networks may contain loops, and can reconstruct both cyclic and acyclic ones. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on a variety of challenging datasets including aerial images of road networks and micrographs of neural arbors, and show that it outperforms state-of-the-art techniques.