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On the relationship between variational level set-based and SOM-based active contours.

Abdelsamea, Mohammed M.; Gnecco, Giorgio; Gaber, Mohamed Medhat; Elyan, Eyad


Mohammed M. Abdelsamea

Giorgio Gnecco

Mohamed Medhat Gaber


Most Active Contour Models (ACMs) deal with the image segmentation problem as a functional optimization problem, as they work on dividing an image into several regions by optimizing a suitable functional. Among ACMs, variational level set methods have been used to build an active contour with the aim of modeling arbitrarily complex shapes. Moreover, they can handle also topological changes of the contours. Self-Organizing Maps (SOMs) have attracted the attention of many computer vision scientists, particularly in modeling an active contour based on the idea of utilizing the prototypes (weights) of a SOM to control the evolution of the contour. SOM-based models have been proposed in general with the aim of exploiting the specific ability of SOMs to learn the edge-map information via their topology preservation property and overcoming some drawbacks of other ACMs, such as trapping into local minima of the image energy functional to be minimized in such models. In this survey, we illustrate the main concepts of variational level set-based ACMs, SOM-based ACMs, and their relationship and review in a comprehensive fashion the development of their state-of-the-art models from a machine learning perspective, with a focus on their strengths and weaknesses.


ABDELSAMEA, M.M., GNECCO, G., GABER, M.M. and ELYAN, E. 2015. On the relationship between variational level set-based and SOM-based active contours. Computational intelligence and neuroscience [online], 2015, article ID 109029. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 29, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 19, 2015
Publication Date Dec 31, 2015
Deposit Date Jun 8, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2015
Journal Computational intelligence and neuroscience
Print ISSN 1687-5265
Electronic ISSN 1687-5273
Publisher Hindawi
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2015
Article Number 109029
Keywords Active Contour Models (ACMs); Prototypes; Self-organizing maps (SOMs)
Public URL


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