Isabelle Bloch, Olivier
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On the Ternary Spatial Relation “Between” PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Isabelle Bloch, Olivier Colliot , and Roberto M. Cesar, Jr. IEEE Trans. Syst., Man, Cybern . B, Cybern ., Vol. 36, No. 2, April 2006. On the Ternary Spatial Relation “Between”. Presented by Drew Buck February 22, 2011. Our Goal. We are interested in answering two questions:

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On the Ternary Spatial Relation “Between”

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On the ternary spatial relation between

Isabelle Bloch, Olivier Colliot, and Roberto M. Cesar, Jr.

IEEE Trans. Syst., Man, Cybern. B, Cybern., Vol. 36, No. 2, April 2006

On the Ternary Spatial Relation “Between”

Presented by Drew Buck

February 22, 2011

Our goal

Our Goal

  • We are interested in answering two questions:

    • What is the region of space located between two objects A1 and A2?

    • To what degree is B between A1 and A2?



  • Existing Definitions

  • Convex Hull

  • Morphological Dilations

  • Visibility

  • Satisfaction Measure

  • Properties

  • Examples

Existing definitions

Existing Definitions

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines between as “In the time, space, or interval that separates.”

  • Some crisp approaches:

    • A point is between two objects if it belongs to a segment with endpoints in each of the objects.




Existing definitions1

Existing Definitions

  • Another crisp approach:

    • Using bounding spheres, B is between A1 and A2 if it intersects the line between the centroids of A1 and A2.

Existing definitions2

Existing Definitions

  • Fuzzy approaches:

    • For all calculate the angle θ at b between the segments [b, a1] and [b, a2]. Define a function μbetween(θ) to measure the degree to which b is between a1 anda2.

[12] R. Krishnapuram, J. M. Keller, and Y. Ma, “Quantitative Analysis of Properties and Spatial Relations of Fuzzy Image Regions,” IEEE-Trans. Fuzzy Syst., vol. 1, no.3, pp. 222-233, Feb. 1993.

Existing definitions3

Existing Definitions

  • Using the histograms of forces:

    • The spatial relationship between two objects can be modeled with force histograms, which give a degree of support for the statement, “A is in direction θfrom B.”

Existing definitions4

Existing Definitions

From P. Matsakis and S. Andréfouët, “The Fuzzy Line Between Among and Surround,” in Proc. IEEE FUZZ, 2002, pp. 1596-1601.

Existing definitions5

Existing Definitions

  • Limitations of this approach:

    • Considers the union of objects, rather than their individual areas.

Convex hull

Convex Hull

  • For any set X, its complement XC, and its convex hull CH(X), we define the region of space between objects A1 and A2as β(A1,A2).

Convex hull1

Convex Hull

  • Components of β(A1,A2) which are not adjacent to both A1and A2should be suppressed.

  • However, this leads to a continuity problem:

Convex hull2

Convex Hull

  • Extension to the fuzzy case:

    • Recommended to chose a t-norm that satisfies the law of excluded middle, such as Lukasiewicz’ t-norm

Non connected objects

Non-connected Objects

  • If A1 can be decomposed into connected components we can define the region between A1 and A2 asand similarly if both objects are non-connected.

    • This is better than using CH(A1,A2 ) directly

Morphological dilations

Morphological Dilations

  • Definition based on Dilation and Separation:

    • Find a “seed” for β(A1,A2) by dilating both objects until they meet and dilating the resulting intersection.where Dndenotes a dilation by a disk of radius n.

Morphological dilations1

Morphological Dilations

  • Using watersheds and SKIZ (skeleton by influence zones):

    • Reconstruction of β(A1,A2) by geodesic dilation.

Wherefrom which connected components of the convex hull not adjacent to both sets are suppressed.

Morphological dilations2

Morphological Dilations

  • Removing non-visible cavities

    • We could use the convex hulls of A1 and A2independently, but this approach cannot handle imbricated objects.

Morphological dilations3

Morphological Dilations

  • Fuzzy Directional Dilations:

    • Compute the main direction αbetween A1 and A2 as the average or maximum value of the histogram of angles.

    • Let Dαdenote a dilation in direction αusing a fuzzy structuring element, v.

Morphological dilations4

Morphological Dilations

  • Given a fuzzy structuring element in the main direction from A1 to A2, we can define the area between A1 and A2 as

  • We can consider multiple values for the main direction by defining βas

Morphological dilations5

Morphological Dilations

  • Or use the histogram of angles directly as the fuzzy structuring element.

Morphological dilations6

Morphological Dilations

  • Alternate definition which removes concavities which are not facing each other



  • Admissible segments:

    • A segment [x1, x2] with x1in A1andx2 in A2is admissible if it is contained in .

    • is defined as the union of all admissible segments.



  • Fuzzy visibility:

    • Consider a point P and the segments [a1, P] and [P, a2] where a1 anda2come from A1 andA2respectively.

    • For each P, find the angle closest to π between any two admissible segments included in

where [a1, P] and [P, a2] are semi-admissible segments

where f :[0, π] → [0,1] is a decreasing function



  • Extension to fuzzy objects:

    • Compute the fuzzy inclusion of each segment and intersect with the best angle as before.

Extended objects

Extended Objects

  • Objects with different spatial extensions:

    • If A2has infinite or near-infinite size with respect to A1, approximate A2 by a segment u and dilate A1in a direction orthogonal to u, limited to the closest half plane.

Extended objects1

Extended Objects

  • Adding a visibility constraint

    • Conjunctively combine projection with admissible segments. Optionally consider only segments orthogonal to u.

Satisfaction measure

Satisfaction Measure

  • Once β(A1,A2) has been determined, we want to know the overlap between βand B.

    • Normalized Intersection:

    • Other possible measures:

Satisfaction measure1

Satisfaction Measure

  • Degree of Inclusion:

  • Degree of Intersection:

    • Length of this interval gives information on the ambiguity of the relation.

Satisfaction measure2

Satisfaction Measure

  • If B is extended, we might want to know if B passes through β.

  • Let

  • R will have two connected components, R1and R2.

  • Degree to which B passes through βshould be high if Bgoes at least from a point in R1to a point in R2.

Satisfaction measure3

Satisfaction Measure





  • Anatomical descriptions of brain structures







  • Possible to represent the complex spatial relationship, “between,” using mathematical morphology and visibility.

  • Many definitions exist, each with individual strengths and weaknesses.

  • Pick the representation most appropriate for the application.

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