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Title: Non-parametric probability density function estimation for medical images
Author: Joshi, Niranjan Bhaskar
ISNI:       0000 0001 3593 2121
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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The estimation of probability density functions (PDF) of intensity values plays an important role in medical image analysis. Non-parametric PDF estimation methods have the advantage of generality in their application. The two most popular estimators in image analysis methods to perform the non-parametric PDF estimation task are the histogram and the kernel density estimator. But these popular estimators crucially need to be ‘tuned’ by setting a number of parameters and may be either computationally inefficient or need a large amount of training data. In this thesis, we critically analyse and further develop a recently proposed non-parametric PDF estimation method for signals, called the NP windows method. We propose three new algorithms to compute PDF estimates using the NP windows method. One of these algorithms, called the log-basis algorithm, provides an easier and faster way to compute the NP windows estimate, and allows us to compare the NP windows method with the two existing popular estimators. Results show that the NP windows method is fast and can estimate PDFs with a significantly smaller amount of training data. Moreover, it does not require any additional parameter settings. To demonstrate utility of the NP windows method in image analysis we consider its application to image segmentation. To do this, we first describe the distribution of intensity values in the image with a mixture of non-parametric distributions. We estimate these distributions using the NP windows method. We then use this novel mixture model to evolve curves with the well-known level set framework for image segmentation. We also take into account the partial volume effect that assumes importance in medical image analysis methods. In the final part of the thesis, we apply our non-parametric mixture model (NPMM) based level set segmentation framework to segment colorectal MR images. The segmentation of colorectal MR images is made challenging due to sparsity and ambiguity of features, presence of various artifacts, and complex anatomy of the region. We propose to use the monogenic signal (local energy, phase, and orientation) to overcome the first difficulty, and the NPMM to overcome the remaining two. Results are improved substantially on those that have been reported previously. We also present various ways to visualise clinically useful information obtained with our segmentations in a 3-dimensional manner.
Supervisor: Brady, John Michael Sponsor: EPSRC ; MRC IRC (MIAS) ; Overseas Research Studentship (ORS)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Information engineering ; Image understanding ; Biomedical engineering ; Non-parametric ; probability density function ; mixture model ; level sets ; colorectal cancer ; automated image analysis