INRIA, Domaine de Voluceau, Rocquencourt, B.P. 105, 78153 Le Chesnay Cedex, France*
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The use.of energy-minimizing curves, known as “snakes, ” to extract features of interest in images has been introduced by Kass, Witkhr & Terzopoulos (Znt. J. Comput. Vision 1, 1987,321-331). We present a model of deformation which solves some of the problems encountered with the original method. The external forces that push the curve to the edges are modified to give more stable results. The original snake, when it is not close enough to contours, is not attracted by them and straightens to a line. Our model makes the curve behave like a balloon which is inflated by an additional force. The initial curve need no longer be close to the solution to converge. The curve passes over weak edges and is stopped only if the edge is strong. We give examples of extracting a ventricle in medical images. We have also made a first step toward 3D object reconstruction, by tracking the extracted contour on a series of successive cross sections. 0 1991 Academic press, 1~. I.