Canny Edge Detection

Source code Author Author Update time

Canny filter is still a powerful edge detector even though it's invented in 1986 [1]. This demo shows you how to use our newly developed package ImageEdgeDetection with Canny filter as an example.

using Images, ImageEdgeDetection, Noise
using ImageEdgeDetection: Percentile
using TestImages

ImageEdgeDetection.jl rewrites many functions which previously exists in Images.jl and will be reexported in Images in the future, so you don't need to using ImageEdgeDetection explicitly after that.

In JuliaImages, any AbstractArray can be treated as an image. In this demo, we'll use a generated image for illustration purpose.

First, we create our test image.

function make_simple_image(sz)
    img_gray = zeros(Gray{Float64}, sz...)
    fill_region = map(x->x÷4:3x÷4, sz)
    img_gray[fill_region...] .= 1
    img_rot = imrotate(img_gray, pi/4)

    # Corrupt the image with blur and noise, it makes our canny edge detection
    # function works a little harder since the canny filter is based on the idea
    # of finding gradients.
    img_gauss = imfilter(img_rot, Kernel.gaussian(2))

    # We use `salt_pepper` filter from `Noise.jl`. Salt-and-pepper noise in general
    # is a noise that modifies a pixel with two different values of noise.
    # Here we only random set pixels to white.
    img_noise = salt_pepper(img_gauss, 0.05, salt_prob = 0, pepper = 0.9)
img = make_simple_image((200, 200))

ImageEdgeDetection offers a unified API detect_edges(img, alg) with various algorithms. In this demo we'll show how to use the Canny operator [1]. First we'll need to create an algorithm instance of Canny.

alg = Canny(spatial_scale=1, high=Percentile(80), low=Percentile(20))
ImageEdgeDetection.Canny{Int64, ImageEdgeDetection.Percentile{Int64}, ImageEdgeDetection.Percentile{Int64}, ImageEdgeDetection.NonmaximaSuppression{ImageEdgeDetection.Percentile{Int64}}}
  spatial_scale: Int64 1
  high: ImageEdgeDetection.Percentile{Int64}
  low: ImageEdgeDetection.Percentile{Int64}
  thinning_algorithm: ImageEdgeDetection.NonmaximaSuppression{ImageEdgeDetection.Percentile{Int64}}

and then apply this instance as parameters to detect_edges, with the Julia multiple dispatch mechanism, detect_edges knows which algorithm implementation should be called with the alg information.

edges = detect_edges(img, alg)
mosaicview(img, edges; nrow=1)

Now let's see how different Canny parameters changes the result, and also see how it works on real world images:

cameraman = testimage("cameraman")
canny(σ) = Canny(spatial_scale=σ, high=Percentile(80), low=Percentile(20))
simple_results = map(σ->detect_edges(img, canny(σ)), 1:5)
cameraman_results = map(σ->detect_edges(cameraman, canny(σ)), 1:5)

    mosaicview(img, cameraman),
    map(mosaicview, simple_results, cameraman_results)...;

As you can see, higher spatial_scale tells the Canny operator to ignore small details and thus gives a "clean" edge result; whether it is a correct/useful edge result depends on how you interpret it.


[1] J. Canny, "A Computational Approach to Edge Detection," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. PAMI-8, no. 6, pp. 679-698, Nov. 1986, doi: 10.1109/TPAMI.1986.4767851.

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