A Study on Continuous Max-Flow and Min-Cut Approaches
TypeChapter; Peer reviewed
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We propose and investigate novel max-flow models in the spatially continuous setting, with or without supervised constraints, under a comparative study of graph based max-flow / min-cut. We show that the continuous max-flow models correspond to their respective continuous min-cut models as primal and dual problems, and the continuous min-cut formulation without supervision constraints regards the well-known Chan-Esedoglu-Nikolova model  as a special case. In this respect, basic conceptions and terminologies applied by discrete max-flow / mincut are revisited under a new variational perspective. We prove that the associated nonconvex partitioning problems, unsupervised or supervised, can be solved globally and exactly via the proposed convex continuous max-flow and min-cut models. Moreover, we derive novel fast max-flow based algorithms whose convergence can be guaranteed by standard optimization theories. Experiments on image segmentation, both unsupervised and supervised, show that our continuous max-flow based algorithms outperform previous approaches in terms of efficiency and accuracy.