7. Image Representation and Description

  1. Frank Y. Shih

Published Online: 4 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470590416.ch7

Image Processing and Pattern Recognition

Image Processing and Pattern Recognition

How to Cite

Shih, F. Y. (2010) Image Representation and Description, in Image Processing and Pattern Recognition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9780470590416.ch7

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 12 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470404614

Online ISBN: 9780470590416



  • Binary tree representation;
  • contour representation schemes;
  • image representation;
  • mathematical morphology;
  • maxima tracking;
  • quadtree representations;
  • run-length coding;
  • skeletonization


Image representation and description is critical for successful detection and recognition of objects in a scene. After an image has been segmented into object and background regions, one intends to represent and describe them in characteristic features for computer processing during pattern recognition or in quantitative codes for efficient storage during image compression. This chapter is organized as follows: First, Run-length coding is introduced followed by Binary tree and quadtree representations. The chapter presents different contour representation schemes, such as chain code, crack code, and mid-crack code. It presents the Skeletonization (or medial axis transformation) by thinning and by maxima tracking on distance transform. Finally, the chapter presents object representation and tolerance by mathematical morphology.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

image thinning; mathematical morphology; spatial data structures