Parallel implementation of image segmentation algorithms on a network of transputers
Image segmentation is one of the most computationally intensive operations in image processing and computer vision. This is because a large volume of data is involved and many different features have to be extracted from the image data. This thesis is concerned with the investigation of practical issues related to the implementation of several classes of image segmentation algorithms on parallel architectures. The Transputer is used as the basic building block of hardware architectures and Occam is used as the programming language. The segmentation methods chosen for implementation are convolution, for edge-based segmentation; the Split and Merge algorithm for segmenting non-textured regions; and the Granlund method for segmentation of textured images. Three different convolution methods have been implemented. The direct method of convolution, carried out in the spatial domain, uses the array architecture. The other two methods, based on convolution in the frequency domain, require the use of the two-dimensional Fourier transform. Parallel implementations of two different Fast Fourier Transform algorithms have been developed, incorporating original solutions. For the Row-Column method the array architecture has been adopted, and for the Vector-Radix method, the pyramid architecture. The texture segmentation algorithm, for which a system-level design is given, demonstrates a further application of the Vector-Radix Fourier transform. A novel concurrent version of the quad-tree based Split and Merge algorithm has been implemented on the pyramid architecture. The performance of the developed parallel implementations is analysed. Many of the obtained speed-up and efficiency measures show values close to their respective theoretical maxima. Where appropriate comparisons are drawn between different implementations. The thesis concludes with comments on general issues related to the use of the Transputer system as a development tool for image processing applications; and on the issues related to the engineering of concurrent image processing applications.