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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 232-243

A Hybrid hierarchical approach for brain tissue segmentation by combining brain Atlas and least square support vector machine

Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Shiraz University of Technology, Shiraz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Kamran Kazemi
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Shiraz University of Technology, Shiraz
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2228-7477.128325

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In this paper, we present a new semi-automatic brain tissue segmentation method based on a hybrid hierarchical approach that combines a brain atlas as a priori information and a least-square support vector machine (LS-SVM). The method consists of three steps. In the first two steps, the skull is removed and the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is extracted. These two steps are performed using the toolbox FMRIB's automated segmentation tool integrated in the FSL software (FSL-FAST) developed in Oxford Centre for functional MRI of the brain (FMRIB). Then, in the third step, the LS-SVM is used to segment grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM). The training samples for LS-SVM are selected from the registered brain atlas. The voxel intensities and spatial positions are selected as the two feature groups for training and test. SVM as a powerful discriminator is able to handle nonlinear classification problems; however, it cannot provide posterior probability. Thus, we use a sigmoid function to map the SVM output into probabilities. The proposed method is used to segment CSF, GM and WM from the simulated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using Brainweb MRI simulator and real data provided by Internet Brain Segmentation Repository. The semi-automatically segmented brain tissues were evaluated by comparing to the corresponding ground truth. The Dice and Jaccard similarity coefficients, sensitivity and specificity were calculated for the quantitative validation of the results. The quantitative results show that the proposed method segments brain tissues accurately with respect to corresponding ground truth.

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