Efficient Vessel Feature Detection for Endoscopic Image Analysis
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Distinctive feature detection is an essential task in computer-assisted minimally invasive surgery (MIS). For special conditions in an MIS imaging environment, such as specular reflections and texture homogeneous areas, the feature points extracted by general feature point detectors are less distinctive and repeatable in MIS images. We observe that abundant blood vessels are available on tissue surfaces and can be extracted as a new set of image features. In this paper, two types of blood vessel features are proposed for endoscopic images: branching points and branching segments. Two novel methods, ridgeness-based circle test and ridgeness-based branching segment detection are presented to extract branching points and branching segments, respectively. Extensive in vivo experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of the proposed methods and compare them with the state-of-the-art methods. The numerical results verify that, in MIS images, the blood vessel features can produce a large number of points.More importantly, those points are more robust and repeatable than the other types of feature points. In addition, due to the difference in feature types, vessel features can be combined with other general features, which makes them new tools for MIS image analysis. These proposed methods are efficient and the code and datasets are made available to the public.
author list (cited authors)
Lin, B., Sun, Y. u., Sanchez, J. E., & Qian, X.