The use of affine image registration based on normalized mutual information (NMI) has recently been proposed by Frangi <i>et al.</i> as an automatic method for assessing brachial artery flow mediated dilation (FMD) for the characterization of endothelial function. Even though this method solves many problems of previous approaches, there are still some situations that can lead to misregistration between frames, such as the presence of adjacent vessels due to probe movement, muscle fibres or poor image quality. Despite its widespread use as a registration metric and its promising results, MI is not the panacea and can occasionally fail. Previous work has attempted to include spatial information into the image similarity metric. Among these methods the direct estimation of α-MI through Minimum Euclidean Graphs allows to include spatial information and it seems suitable to tackle the registration problem in vascular images, where well oriented structures corresponding to vessel walls and muscle fibres are present. The purpose of this work is twofold. Firstly, we aim to evaluate the effect of including spatial information in the performance of the method suggested by Frangi <i>et al</i>. by using α-MI of spatial features as similarity metric. Secondly, the application of image registration to long image sequences in which both rigid motion and deformation are present will be used as a benchmark to prove the value of α-MI as a similarity metric, and will also allow us to make a comparative study with respect to NMI.
We will present a new approach for pattern matching which is applicable to very high dimensional features. This approach is based on maximizing a novel non-linear measure of "mutual information" which is constructed from the k nearest neighbor graph through the feature vector set.