Robust Edge Detection Method for the Segmentation of Diabetic Foot Ulcer Images
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Segmentation is an open-ended research problem in various computer vision and image processing tasks. This preprocessing operation requires a robust edge detector to generate appealing results. However, the available approaches for edge detection underperform when applied to images corrupted by noise or impacted by poor imaging conditions. The problem becomes significant for images containing diabetic foot ulcers, which originate from people with varied skin color. Comparative performance evaluation of the edge detectors facilitates the process of deciding an appropriate method for image segmentation of diabetic foot ulcers. Our research discovered that the classical edge detectors cannot clearly locate ulcers in images with black-skin feet. In addition, these methods collapse for degraded input images. Therefore, the current research proposes a robust edge detector that can address some limitations of the previous attempts. The proposed method incorporates a hybrid diffusion-steered functional derived from the total variation and the Perona-Malik diffusivities, which have been reported to can effectively capture semantic features in images. The empirical results show that our method generates clearer and stronger edge maps with higher perceptual and objective qualities. More importantly, the proposed method offers lower computational times—an advantage that gives more insights into the possible application of the method in time-sensitive tasks.