### GEODESIC RECONSTRUCTION, SADDLE ZONES & HIERARCHICAL SEGMENTATION

#### Abstract

The morphological reconstruction based on geodesic operators, is a powerful tool in mathematical morphology. The general definition of this reconstruction supposes the use of a marker function f which is not necessarily related to the function g to be built. However, this paper deals with operations where the marker function is defined from given characteristic regions of the initial function f, as it is the case, for instance, for the extrema (maxima or minima) but also for the saddle zones. Firstly, we show that the intuitive definition of a saddle zone is not easy to handle, especially when digitised images are involved. However, some of these saddle zones (regional ones also called overflow zones) can be defined, this definition providing a simple algorithm to extract them. The second part of the paper is devoted to the use of these overflow zones as markers in image reconstruction. This reconstruction provides a new function which exhibits a new hierarchy of extrema. This hierarchy is equivalent to the hierarchy produced by the so-called waterfall algorithm. We explain why the waterfall algorithm can be achieved by performing a watershed transform of the function reconstructed by its initial watershed lines. Finally, some examples of use of this hierarchical segmentation are described.

##### Keywords

geodesic reconstruction; hierarchy; saddles; segmentation; waterfall algorithm; watersheds

DOI: 10.5566/ias.v20.p137-141