Multiscale shape description of MR brain images using active contour models

Julia A. Schnabel, Simon R. Arridge

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this paper we present a hierarchical multiscale shape description tool based on active contour models which enables data-driven quantitative and qualitative shape studies of MR brain images at multiple scales. At large scales, global shape properties are extracted from the image, while smaller scale features are suppressed. At lower scales, the detailed shape characteristics become more prominent. Extracting a shape at different levels of scale yields a hierarchical multiscale shape stack. This shape stack can be used to localize and characterize shape changes like deformations and abnormalities at different levels of scale. The shape description is performed as a set of implicit segmentation steps at multiple scales yielding descriptions of an object at various levels of detail. Implicit segmentation is carried out using the well-known model of active contours. Starting from an initial active contour, several implicit optimization processes with differently regularized energy functions are performed, where the energy functions are represented as functions of scale. The presented algorithm for shape focusing and description based on active contour models shows promising results on extracting and characterizing complex shapes in MR brain images at a large set of scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-606
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventMedical Imaging 1996 Image Processing - Newport Beach, CA, United States
Duration: 12 Feb 199615 Feb 1996


  • Active contour models
  • Contour extraction
  • Curvature
  • Differential invariants
  • Hierarchical description
  • Multiscale representation
  • Shape analysis
  • Snakes


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiscale shape description of MR brain images using active contour models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this