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Reconciling Distance Functions and Level Sets

José Gomes 1 Olivier Faugeras
1 ROBOTVIS - Computer Vision and Robotics
CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée
Abstract : This paper is concerned with the simulation of the Partial Differential Equation (PDE) driven evolution of a closed surface by means of an implicit representation. In most applications, the natural choice for the implicit representation is the signed distance function to the closed surface. Osher and Sethian propose to evolve the distance function with a Hamilton-Jaco- bi equation. Unfortunately the solution to this equation is not a distance function. As a consequence, the practical application of the level set method is plagued with such questions as when do we have to "reinitialize" the distance function? How do we "reinitialize" the distance function? Etc... which reveal a disagreement between the theory and its implementation. This paper proposes an alternative to the use of Hamilton-Jacobi equations which eliminates this contradiction: in our method the implicit representation always remains a distance function by construction, and the implementation does not differ from the theory anymore. This is achieved through the introduction of a new equation. Besides its theoretical advantages, the proposed method also has several practical advantages which we demonstrate in three applications: (i) the segmentation of the human cortex surfaces from MRI images using two coupled surfaces [26], (ii) the construction of a hierarchy of Euclidean skeletons of a 3D surface, (iii) the reconstructio- n of the surface of 3D objects through stereo [12].
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 11:34:25 AM
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  • HAL Id : inria-00073006, version 1



José Gomes, Olivier Faugeras. Reconciling Distance Functions and Level Sets. RR-3666, INRIA. 1999. ⟨inria-00073006⟩