Ivan Aleksi, Tomislav Matić, Benjamin Lehmann, Dieter Kraus.

This paper addresses a sonar image segmentation method employing a Robust A*-Search Image Segmentation (RASIS) algorithm. RASIS is applied on Mine-Like Objects (MLO) in sonar images, where an object is defined by highlight and shadow regions, i.e. regions of high and low pixel intensities in a side-scan sonar image. RASIS uses a modified A*-Search method, which is usually used in mobile robotics for finding the shortest path where the environment map is predefined, and the start/goal locations are known. RASIS algorithm represents the image segmentation problem as a path-finding problem. Main modification concerning the original A*-Search is in the cost function that takes pixel intensities and contour curvature in order to navigate the 2D segmentation contour. The proposed method is implemented in Matlab and tested on real MLO images. MLO image dataset consist of 70 MLO images with manta mine present, and 70 MLO images with cylinder mine present. Segmentation success rate is obtained by comparing the ground truth data given by the human technician who is detecting MLOs. Measured overall success rate (highlight and shadow regions) is 91% for manta mines and 81% for cylinder mines.
A*-search, image segmentation, path planning, synthetic aperture sonar