EFIS-evolving fuzzy image segmentation

Ahmed A. Othman, Hamid R. Tizhoosh, Farzad Khalvati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the large number of techniques proposed in recent years, accurate segmentation of digital images remains a challenging task for automated computer algorithms. Approaches based on machine learning hold particular promise in this regard, because in many applications, e.g., medical image analysis, frequent user intervention can be assumed to correct the results, thereby generating valuable feedback for algorithmic learning. In order to learn segmentation of new (unseen) images, such user feedback (correction of current or past results) seems indispensable. In this paper, we propose the formation and evolution of fuzzy rules for user-oriented environments in which feedback is captured by design. The evolving fuzzy image segmentation (EFIS) can be used to adjust the parameters of existing segmentation methods, switch between their results, or fuse their results. Specifically, we propose a single-parametric EFIS (SEFIS), apply its rule evolution to breast ultrasound images, and evaluate the results using three segmentation methods, namely, global thresholding, region growing, and statistical region merging. The results show increased accuracy across all tests and for all methods. For instance, the accuracy of statistical region merging can be improved from 59% ± 30% to 71% ± 22%. We also propose a multiparametric EFIS (MEFIS) for switching between or fusing the results of multiple segmentation methods. Preliminary results indicate that MEFIS can further increase overall segmentation accuracy. Three thresholding methods with accuracies of 62% ± 11%, 64% ± 16%, and 61% ± 9% were combined to reach an overall accuracy of 66% ± 15%. Finally, we compare our SEFIS scheme with five other thresholding methods to evaluate its overall performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6461091
Pages (from-to)72-82
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Evolving fuzzy systems
  • fuzzy inference
  • image segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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