Efficient morphological shape representation

Joseph M. Reinhardt, William E. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Mathematical morphology is well suited to capturing geometric information. Hence, morphology-based approaches have been popular for object shape representation. The two primary morphology-based approaches - the morphological skeleton and the morphological shape decomposition (MSD) - each represent an object as a collection of disjoint sets. A practical shape representation scheme, though, should give a representation that is computationally efficient to use. Unfortunately, little work has been done for the morphological skeleton and the MSD to address efficiency. We propose a flexible search-based shape representation scheme that typically gives more efficient representations than the morphological skeleton and MSD. Our method decomposes an object into a number of simple components based on homothetics of a set of structuring elements. To form the representation, the components are combined using set union and set difference operations. We use three constituent component types and a thorough cost-based search strategy to find efficient representations. We also consider allowing object representation error, which may yield even more efficient representations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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