Hierarchical Image Semantics Using Probabilistic Path Propagations for Biomedical Research

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Image segmentation is an important subtask in biomedical research applications, such as estimating the position and shape of a tumor. Unfortunately, advanced image segmentation methods are not widely applied in research applications as they often miss features, such as uncertainty communication, and may lack an intuitive approach for the use of the underlying algorithm. To solve this problem, this paper fuses a fuzzy and a hierarchical segmentation approach together, thus providing a flexible multiclass segmentation method based on probabilistic path propagations. By utilizing this method, analysts and physicians can map their mental model of image components and their composition to higher level objects. The probabilistic segmentation of higher order components is propagated along the user-defined hierarchy to highlight the potential of improvement resulting in each level of hierarchy by providing an intuitive representation. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated by evaluating our segmentations of biomedical datasets, comparing it to the state-of-the-art segmentation approaches, and an extensive user study.



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