Retinal blood vessel localization approach based on bee colony swarm optimization, fuzzy c-means and pattern search.

Hassaniena, A. E., E. Emarya, and H. M. Zawbaa, "Retinal blood vessel localization approach based on bee colony swarm optimization, fuzzy c-means and pattern search.", J. Visual Communication and Image Representation , vol. 31, pp. 186-196 , 2015.


Accurate segmentation of retinal blood vessels is an important task in computer aided diagnosis and surgery planning of retinopathy. Despite the high resolution of photographs in fundus photography, the contrast between the blood vessels and retinal background tends to be poor. Furthermore, pathological changes of the retinal vessel tree can be observed in a variety of diseases such as diabetes and glaucoma. Vessels with small diameters are much liable to effects of diseases and imaging problems. In this paper, an automated retinal blood vessels segmentation approach based on two levels optimization principles is proposed. The proposed approach makes use of the artificial bee colony optimization in conjunction with fuzzy cluster compactness fitness function with partial belongness in the first level to find coarse vessels. The dependency on the vessel reflectance is problematic as the confusion with background and vessel distortions especially for thin vessels, so we made use of a second level of optimization. In the second level of optimization, pattern search is further used to enhance the segmentation results using shape description as a complementary feature. Thinness ratio is used as a fitness function for the pattern search optimization. The pattern search is a powerful tool for local search while artificial bee colony is a global search with high convergence speed. The proposed retinal blood vessels segmentation approach is tested on two publicly available databases DRIVE and STARE of retinal images. The results demonstrate that the performance of the proposed approach is comparable with state of the art techniques in terms of sensitivity, specificity and accuracy.

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