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The granulometric method discovered by Georges Matheron provides a morphological method for characterizing granular images by means of how they are sieved through sieves of various size and shape. Besides application to grains (particles), the method is effective for texture and shape analysis. Imagine a sieve through which one might pan gold. If an image is considered as a collection of grains, then whether an individual grain will pass through the sieve depends on its size and shape relative to the mesh of the sieve. By increasing the mesh size while keeping the basic mesh shape, more and more of the image will pass through, the eventual result being that no more grains remain. Of course, this sieving model does not fully describe even a granular image, for in a real image the grains will likely overlap; nevertheless, it does serve as a means to approach the removal of nonconforming image structure, and can be further developed to obtain image signatures based on the rate of sieving. It is this sieving model that one should keep in mind throughout the chapter.
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