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Title: Extraction of arterial and venous trees from disconnected vessel segments in fundus images
Author: Qureshi, Touseef Ahmad
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 0603
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2016
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The accurate automated extraction of arterial and venous (AV) trees in fundus images subserves investigation into the correlation of global features of the retinal vasculature with retinal abnormalities. The accurate extraction of AV trees also provides the opportunity to analyse the physiology and hemodynamic of blood flow in retinal vessel trees. A number of common diseases, including Diabetic Retinopathy, Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular diseases, directly affect the morphology of the retinal vasculature. Early detection of these pathologies may prevent vision loss and reduce the risk of other life-threatening diseases. Automated extraction of AV trees requires complete segmentation and accurate classification of retinal vessels. Unfortunately, the available segmentation techniques are susceptible to a number of complications including vessel contrast, fuzzy edges, variable image quality, media opacities, and vessel overlaps. Due to these sources of errors, the available segmentation techniques produce partially segmented vascular networks. Thus, extracting AV trees by accurately connecting and classifying the disconnected segments is extremely complex. This thesis provides a novel graph-based technique for accurate extraction of AV trees from a network of disconnected and unclassified vessel segments in fundus viii images. The proposed technique performs three major tasks: junction identification, local configuration, and global configuration. A probabilistic approach is adopted that rigorously identifies junctions by examining the mutual associations of segment ends. These associations are determined by dynamically specifying regions at both ends of all segments. A supervised Naïve Bayes inference model is developed that estimates the probability of each possible configuration at a junction. The system enumerates all possible configurations and estimates posterior probability of each configuration. The likelihood function estimates the conditional probability of the configuration using the statistical parameters of distribution of colour and geometrical features of joints. The parameters of feature distributions and priors of configuration are obtained through supervised learning phases. A second Naïve Bayes classifier estimates class probabilities of each vessel segment utilizing colour and spatial properties of segments. The global configuration works by translating the segment network into an STgraph (a specialized form of dependency graph) representing the segments and their possible connective associations. The unary and pairwise potentials for ST-graph are estimated using the class and configuration probabilities obtained earlier. This translates the classification and configuration problems into a general binary labelling graph problem. The ST-graph is interpreted as a flow network for energy minimization a minimum ST-graph cut is obtained using the Ford-Fulkerson algorithm, from which the estimated AV trees are extracted. The performance is evaluated by implementing the system on test images of DRIVE dataset and comparing the obtained results with the ground truth data. The ground truth data is obtained by establishing a new dataset for DRIVE images with manually classified vessels. The system outperformed benchmark methods and produced excellent results.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: F350 Medical Physics