Date of Award

Spring 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

MengChu Zhou

Second Advisor

Haimin Wang

Third Advisor

John D. Carpinelli

Fourth Advisor

Jason Geng

Fifth Advisor

Yun Q. Shi


This doctoral dissertation work aims to develop algorithms for 2D image segmentation application of solar filament disappearance detection, 3D mesh simplification, and 3D image warping in pre-surgery simulation. Filament area detection in solar images is an image segmentation problem. A thresholding and region growing combined method is proposed and applied in this application. Based on the filament area detection results, filament disappearances are reported in real time. The solar images in 1999 are processed with this proposed system and three statistical results of filaments are presented.

3D images can be obtained by passive and active range sensing. An image registration process finds the transformation between each pair of range views. To model an object, a common reference frame in which all views can be transformed must be defined. After the registration, the range views should be integrated into a non-redundant model. Optimization is necessary to obtain a complete 3D model. One single surface representation can better fit to the data. It may be further simplified for rendering, storing and transmitting efficiently, or the representation can be converted to some other formats.

This work proposes an efficient algorithm for solving the mesh simplification problem, approximating an arbitrary mesh by a simplified mesh. The algorithm uses Root Mean Square distance error metric to decide the facet curvature. Two vertices of one edge and the surrounding vertices decide the average plane. The simplification results are excellent and the computation speed is fast. The algorithm is compared with six other major simplification algorithms.

Image morphing is used for all methods that gradually and continuously deform a source image into a target image, while producing the in-between models. Image warping is a continuous deformation of a: graphical object. A morphing process is usually composed of warping and interpolation. This work develops a direct-manipulation-of-free-form-deformation-based method and application for pre-surgical planning. The developed user interface provides a friendly interactive tool in the plastic surgery. Nose augmentation surgery is presented as an example. Displacement vector and lattices resulting in different resolution are used to obtain various deformation results. During the deformation, the volume change of the model is also considered based on a simplified skin-muscle model.