Segmentation of blood vessels in retinal fundus images

An example of a segmented blood vessel tree


In recent years, several automatic segmentation methods have been proposed for blood vessels in retinal fundus images, ranging from using cheap and fast trainable filters to complicated neural networks and even deep learning. One example of a filted-based segmentation method is B-COSFIRE. In this approach the image filter is trained with example prototype patterns, to which the filter becomes selective by finding points in a Difference of Gaussian response on circles around the center with large intensity variation. In this paper we discuss and evaluate several of these vessel segmentation methods. We take a closer look at B-COSFIRE and study the performance of B-COSFIRE on the recently published IOSTAR dataset by experiments and we examine how the parameter values affect the performance. In the experiment we manage to reach a segmentation accuracy of 0.9419. Based on our findings we discuss when B-COSFIRE is the preferred method to use and in which circumstances it could be beneficial to use a more (computationally) complex segmentation method. We also shortly discuss areas beyond blood vessel segmentation where these methods can be used to segment elongated structures, such as rivers in satellite images or nerves of a leaf.

14th Student Colloquium at RuG

This paper was part of the 14th Student Colloquium at the University of Groningen and won the Best Paper Award there. You can find the proceedings with all the contributions here.

Michiel Straat
PhD Student Intelligent Systems

My research interests include Machine Learning, Computational Intelligence and Statistical Physics of Learning.