A probabilistic framework for robust, group-wise rigid alignment of point-sets using a mixture of Students t-distribution especially when the point sets are of varying lengths, are corrupted by an unknown degree of outliers or in the presence of missing data. Medical images (in particular magnetic resonance (MR) images), their segmentations and consequently point-sets generated from these are highly susceptible to corruption by outliers. This poses a problem for robust correspondence estimation and accurate alignment of shapes, necessary for training statistical shape models (SSMs). To address these issues, this study proposes to use a t-mixture model (TMM), to approximate the underlying joint probability density of a group of similar shapes and align them to a common reference frame. The heavy-tailed nature of t-distributions provides a more robust registration framework in comparison to state of the art algorithms. Significant reduction in alignment errors is achieved in the presence of outliers, using the proposed TMM-based group-wise rigid registration method, in comparison to its Gaussian mixture model (GMM) counterparts. The proposed TMM-framework is compared with a group-wise variant of the well-known Coherent Point Drift (CPD) algorithm and two other group-wise methods using GMMs, using both synthetic and real data sets. Rigid alignment errors for groups of shapes are quantified using the Hausdorff distance (HD) and quadratic surface distance (QSD) metrics.
The use of biomechanics-based numerical simulations has attracted growing interest in recent years for computer-aided diagnosis and treatment planning. With this in mind, a method for automatic mesh generation of brain structures of interest, using statistical models of shape (SSM) and appearance (SAM), for personalised computational modelling is presented. SSMs are constructed as point distribution models (PDMs) while SAMs are trained using intensity profiles sampled from a training set of T1-weighted magnetic resonance images. The brain structures of interest are, the cortical surface (cerebrum, cerebellum & brainstem), lateral ventricles and falx-cerebri membrane. Two methods for establishing correspondences across the training set of shapes are investigated and compared (based on SSM quality): the Coherent Point Drift (CPD) point-set registration method and B-spline mesh-to-mesh registration method. The MNI-305 (Montreal Neurological Institute) average brain atlas is used to generate the template mesh, which is deformed and registered to each training case, to establish correspondence over the training set of shapes. 18 healthy patients’ T1-weightedMRimages form the training set used to generate the SSM and SAM. Both model-training and model-fitting are performed over multiple brain structures simultaneously. Compactness and generalisation errors of the BSpline-SSM and CPD-SSM are evaluated and used to quantitatively compare the SSMs. Leave-one-out cross validation is used to evaluate SSM quality in terms of these measures. The mesh-based SSM is found to generalise better and is more compact, relative to the CPD-based SSM. Quality of the best-fit model instance from the trained SSMs, to test cases are evaluated using the Hausdorff distance (HD) and mean absolute surface distance (MASD) metrics.