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1 October 1998 Implementation of a watershed algorithm on FPGAs
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In this article we present an implementation of a watershed algorithm on a multi-FPGA architecture. This implementation is based on an hierarchical FIFO. A separate FIFO for each gray level. The gray scale value of a pixel is taken for the altitude of the point. In this way we look at the image as a relief. We proceed by a flooding step. It's like as we immerse the relief in a lake. The water begins to come up and when the water of two different catchment basins reach each other, we will construct a separator or a `Watershed'. This approach is data dependent, hence the process time is different for different images. The H-FIFO is used to guarantee the nature of immersion, it means that we need two types of priority. All the points of an altitude `n' are processed before any point of altitude `n + 1'. And inside an altitude water propagates with a constant velocity in all directions from the source. This operator needs two images as input. An original image or it's gradient and the marker image. A classic way to construct the marker image is to build an image of minimal regions. Each minimal region has it's unique label. This label is the color of the water and will be used to see whether two different water touch each other. The algorithm at first fill the hierarchy FIFO with neighbors of all the regions who are not colored. Next it fetches the first pixel from the first non-empty FIFO and treats this pixel. This pixel will take the color of its neighbor, and all the neighbors who are not already in the H-FIFO are put in their correspondent FIFO. The process is over when the H-FIFO is empty. The result is a segmented and labeled image.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Shahram Zahirazami and Mohamed Akil "Implementation of a watershed algorithm on FPGAs", Proc. SPIE 3460, Applications of Digital Image Processing XXI, (1 October 1998);

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