Forma, Vol. 13 (No. 4), pp. 267-278, 1998
Original Paper

Unsupervised Textured Image Segmentation Using MRF with Mean Field Approximation

Hideki Noda and Eiji Kawaguchi

Department of E.E. & Computer Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Tobata, Kitakyushu 804-8550, Japan

(Received October 21, 1998; Accepted January 19, 1999)

Keywords: Image Segmentation, MRF, Texture, Mean Field, Unsupervised

Abstract. This paper proposes a Markov random field (MRF) model-based method for unsupervised segmentation of images consisting of multiple textures. To model such textured images, a hierarchical MRF is used with two layers, the first layer representing an unobservable region image and the second layer representing multiple textures which cover each region. This method uses the Expectation and Maximization (EM) method for model parameter estimation, where in order to overcome the well-noticed computational problem in the expectation step, we approximate the Baum function using mean-field-based decomposition of a posteriori probability. Given provisionally estimated parameters at each iteration in the EM method, a provisional segmentation is carried out using local a posteriori probability (LAP) of each pixel's region label, which is derived by mean-field-based decomposition of a posteriori probability of the whole region image. Simulation results show that the use of LAPs is essential to perform a good image segmentation.