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Breast Skin-Line Estimation and Breast Segmentation in Mammograms using Fast-Marching Method

Authors: Roshan Dharshana Yapa, Koichi Harada


Breast skin-line estimation and breast segmentation is an important pre-process in mammogram image processing and computer-aided diagnosis of breast cancer. Limiting the area to be processed into a specific target region in an image would increase the accuracy and efficiency of processing algorithms. In this paper we are presenting a new algorithm for estimating skin-line and breast segmentation using fast marching algorithm. Fast marching is a partial-differential equation based numerical technique to track evolution of interfaces. We have introduced some modifications to the traditional fast marching method, specifically to improve the accuracy of skin-line estimation and breast tissue segmentation. Proposed modifications ensure that the evolving front stops near the desired boundary. We have evaluated the performance of the algorithm by using 100 mammogram images taken from mini-MIAS database. The results obtained from the experimental evaluation indicate that this algorithm explains 98.6% of the ground truth breast region and accuracy of the segmentation is 99.1%. Also this algorithm is capable of partially-extracting nipple when it is available in the profile.

Keywords: Mammogram, fast marching method, mathematical morphology.

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