We present a computer-aided approach to segmenting suspicious lesions in digital mammograms, based on a novel maximum likelihood active contour model using level sets (MLACMLS). The algorithm estimates the segmentation contour that best separates the lesion from the background using the Gamma distribution to model the intensity of both regions (foreground and background). The Gamma distribution parameters are estimated by the algorithm. We evaluate the performance of MLACMLS on real mammographic images. Our results are compared to those of two leading related methods: The adaptive level set-based segmentation method (ALSSM) and the spiculation segmentation using level sets (SSLS) approach, and show higher segmentation accuracy (MLACMLS: 86.85% vs. ALSSM: 74.32% and SSLS: 57.11%). Moreover, our results are qualitatively compared with those of the Active Contour Without Edge (ACWOE) and show a better performance. Further, the suitability of using ML as the objective function as opposed to the KL divergence and to the energy functional of the ACWOE is also demonstrated. Our algorithm is also shown to be robust to the selection of a required single seed point.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Active contour models, Computer-aided diagnosis, Level sets, Mammography, Maximum likelihood
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.media.2012.05.005
Journal Medical Image Analysis
Rahmati, P. (Peyman), Adler, A, & Hamarneh, G. (Ghassan). (2012). Mammography segmentation with maximum likelihood active contours. Medical Image Analysis, 16(6), 1167–1186. doi:10.1016/j.media.2012.05.005