Fast contour-tracing algorithm based on a pixel-following method for image sensors

Jonghoon Seo, Seungho Chae, Jinwook Shim, Dongchul Kim, Cheolho Cheong, Tack Don Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Contour pixels distinguish objects from the background. Tracing and extracting contour pixels are widely used for smart/wearable image sensor devices, because these are simple and useful for detecting objects. In this paper, we present a novel contour-tracing algorithm for fast and accurate contour following. The proposed algorithm classifies the type of contour pixel, based on its local pattern. Then, it traces the next contour using the previous pixel’s type. Therefore, it can classify the type of contour pixels as a straight line, inner corner, outer corner and inner-outer corner, and it can extract pixels of a specific contour type. Moreover, it can trace contour pixels rapidly because it can determine the local minimal path using the contour case. In addition, the proposed algorithm is capable of the compressing data of contour pixels using the representative points and inner-outer corner points, and it can accurately restore the contour image from the data. To compare the performance of the proposed algorithm to that of conventional techniques, we measure their processing time and accuracy. In the experimental results, the proposed algorithm shows better performance compared to the others. Furthermore, it can provide the compressed data of contour pixels and restore them accurately, including the inner-outer corner, which cannot be restored using conventional algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number353
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 9

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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