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Image Registration is the task of aligning a pair of images in order to bring them in a common reference frame. It is widely used in several image processing applications in order to align monomodal, multimodal and/or temporal image information. For example in medical imaging registration is often used to align either mono-modal temporal series of images or multi-modal data in order to maximize the diagnostic information and enable physicians to better establish diagnosis and plan the treatment. This paper first deals with the analysis of the well-known Maes' method for Image Registration explaining some of its drawbacks. As a remedy to these problems, a novel Image Registration method is proposed as an extension to Maes' one, which overcomes its drawbacks and improves robustness. Results presented in satellite and medical images indicate that the presented method is more robust comparing to well-known algorithms at the expense of increased computational time.
A Proposed Method for Improving Rigid
Registration Robustness
Constantinos Spanakis #1, Emmanuel Mathioudakis 2, Nicholaos Kampanis +3, Manolis Tsiknakis #4, Kostas Marias #5
#Institute of Computer Science,
Foundation of Research and Technology-Hellas
School of Mineral Resources Engineering
Technical University of Crete, Greece
+Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics,
Foundation of Research and Technology-Hellas
Abstract—Image Registration is the task of aligning a pair of
images in order to bring them in a common reference frame.
It is widely used in several image processing applications in
order to align monomodal, multimodal and/or temporal image
information. For example in medical imaging registration is often
used to align either mono-modal temporal series of images or
multi-modal data in order to maximize the diagnostic information
and enable physicians to better establish diagnosis and plan
the treatment. This paper first deals with the analysis of the
well-known Maes’ method for Image Registration explaining
some of its drawbacks. As a remedy to these problems, a novel
Image Registration method is proposed as an extension to Maes’
one, which overcomes its drawbacks and improves robustness.
Results presented in satellite and medical images indicate that
the presented method is more robust comparing to well-known
algorithms at the expense of increased computational time.
Index Terms—Image Registration, Mutual Information, Genetic
Image Registration is the process of aligning images ac-
quired from different perspective, in different time frames or
even through different modalities [1]. The pair of images to
be aligned is known as Source/Sensed Image (subjected to
transform) and Target/Reference Image (static image). There
are numerous applications that utilize image registration such
as mapping, remote sensing, medical imaging, computer vi-
sion, etc. It remains largely an unsolved problem due to the
staggering diversity of images and the types of geometrical
and photometrical variations that can be present in any image
pair. Registration techniques take into consideration a number
of factors including: a) Modality (i.e. mono-modal or multi-
modal registration problem), b) Geometry (rigid or non-rigid),
c) Interaction requirements (automated or semi-automated),
d) Execution time (e.g. in some cases there is a need to
perform fast i.e. in application relevant times), and e) Accuracy
of registration result needed for a given specific application.
As a consequence, there are numerous methods proposed for
image registration, the majority of which belong to one of the
following categories:
Feature-based: A set of distinctive features (e.g. salient
points([2], [3], [4],[5], [6]), curves, contours([7], [8], [9],
[10], [11])) are selected from the Source Image and
another one set from the Target Image corresponding to
the first one. This can be done either manually or auto-
matically. Then, what remains is to find the corresponding
geometric transformation that transform the coordinates
of the features of the Source set to those of the Target set,
which is the transformation that can align the two images.
Such methods can be very fast, but they are problematic
in images with poorly distinct features, especially in the
presence of noise. Furthermore, the choice of a wrong set
of features can give inaccurate registration results.
Intensity based: Instead of using features, the images’
intensity patterns are compared using correlation mea-
sures to calculate their similarity/difference ([12], [13],
[14], [15], [16], [17]). For the calculation of the images’
similarity, either the whole image or at least a sub-
image is required, which makes them computationally
expensive. In addition, they cannot be easily applicable in
non-rigid registration. Unlike the methods of the previous
category, they are more robust and accurate.
The presented method in this paper was initially designed for
rigid medical image registration, although its generalized na-
ture makes it suitable for many other applications. In medical
imaging, we need to align pairs of images, often acquired from
different modalities with varying degree of details present.
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
Feature-based methods can be used, but the lack of distinct
features may require the interactive selection of distinctive
features by an expert or the introduction of fiducial landmarks.
Maes’ intensity-based method has been successfully used in
medical image registration [12]. However, there are a number
of problems which lead to limited robustness of this method,
especially in difficult rigid registration cases. In this paper
we present a novel method based on Maes which aims to
improve the drawbacks of the original method and improve
its robustness. There has been a lot of research on medical
rigid registration problem. Some of the proposed methods
are feature-based, using either distinct points([5], [6]) or sur-
faces/boundaries ([7], [8], [9],[10], [11]). Due to the frequent
difficulties to robustly identify landmark pairs in medical
images, intensity-based functions (pure or in combination
with feature- based) are widely used. Maes’ method[12] uses
mutual information as correlation metric, being optimized
using Powell’s optimization method[18], with quite good
results. This method has been subsequently improved, using
other better correlation metrics such as normalized mutual
information[13] and entropy correlation coefficient, instead
of mutual information. Viola’s method[14] also uses mutual
information as a correlation metric, but uses stochastic gradient
descent in order to find the optimal transformation. In addition
to Powell’s method and stochastic gradient descent, other
methods[15] are used for maximizing mutual information such
as downhill simplex, steepest gradient descent, quasi-newton
methods, conjugate-gradient descent, least-square methods and
multiresolution techniques. Furthermore, mutual information
and its variants are extended by adding spatial information[17].
Since intensity-based methods can be generalized, the method
presented in this paper can be used in many any other image
processing applications where accuracy is required (e.g. earth
remote sensing). In this paper, a variant of Maes’ image
registration method [12] is proposed. This variant uses a
genetic algorithm[19] to find the optimal transformation for
the alignment of the images. Genetic algorithms have been
previously used for image registration([20], [21], [22], [23],
[24], [25]), either using the same or other similarity measure
for image comparison. Herein, we propose the use of a variant
of genetic algorithm known as elitism[26], which hasn’t been
proposed in the past in the context of image registration.
The purpose is to provide a more robust mutual information
optimization framework that outperforms both the original
Maes method as well as other methods widely used for rigid
registration. To this end,our method is also compared to two
widely used ITK ( Methods in terms of
execution time and accuracy. ITK is a widely known freeware
toolkit for image processing. In the next section, we present
briefly the limitations of Maes’ method and a description of
the genetic algorithms. The proposed method is fully described
in the third section, where we present a series of experiments
for explaining the functionality of the method. Finally, in the
fourth section the results are presented along with ideas on
future studies.
In this section we present our method for rigid registration
extending the well-known Maes’ method. Maes’ image regis-
tration method is based on the idea that when two images are
aligned their mutual information is maximized. In this method
Shannon’s mutual information[27] is used as a similarity
metric for the comparison of the Source and Target image.
The optimal transform of the Source image that maximizes
the mutual information is found using Powell’s method [18]
for minimization, which in turn uses Brent’s method [28] for
one dimensional minimization.
A. Powell’s minimization method
Powell’s conjugate direction method [18] is a method for
finding the local minimum of a multi-variate function. It is
an iterative function which starts from an initial point x0
the searches for the minimum along nlinearly independent
directions di, i = 1,· · · , n where n is the number of variables.
The basic procedure is the following one:
Algorithm 1 Iteration process
Require: fun, p0, d
1: for r= 1,· · · , n do
2: Find λrso that fun(pr1+λrdr)is minimum
3: pr=pr1+λrdr
4: end for
5: for r= 1,· · · , n 1do
6: dr=dr+1
7: end for
8: dn=pnp0
9: Fined λso that fun(pn+λ(pnp0)) is minimum
10: p0=p0+λ(pnp0)
The minimization procedure along the directions di, i =
1,· · · , n is accomplished with the use of Brent’s univariable
function minimization method [28]. If either a number of
maximum iterations is reached or the improvement is minimal
(i.e abs(fun(pnew)fun(pold)) < tol), where a tol is a
tolerance number, then Powell’s method terminates yielding
the solution found so far.
B. Limitations of Maes’ Method
Powell’s method has an inherent drawback; it requires an
initial point, from which the method will start the search, and
an initial set of direction vectors that will direct the search for
each argument of the solution. In this subsection we will see
the impact of this limitation on Maes’ method. An example
of using the original Medical Image Registration method is
shown in Fig. 1, where subFig. (a) is the source image, (b)
is the T1-weighted MRI target image, (c) the transformed
PD- weighted MRI image and (d) is the difference image
of (b) and (c) (i.e. the subtraction of the image intensities
between corresponding pixels of the subFigs. (b) and (c) ).
The images are from the Retrospective Image Registration
Evaluation ProjectRIRE ( )
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
Fig. 1: A failed example illustrating the limitations of the
original Maes’ Method: (a) MRPD Source Image, (b) MRT1
Target Image, (c) Transformed Source image using Maes’
method, (d) Difference Image between SubFigs. (b) and (c)
In this example the initial point is (0, 0, 0) and the
initial set of direction vectors is (1 0 0; 0 1 0; 0 0
1). Maes’ method terminated giving ”optimal” transform
T= (0.000006658185612 radians,-0.000026843523301 pix-
els along x, -0.000083844133769 pixels along y). Fig. 2
presents another example where the initial point is (0.0,
4.0, 4.0), keeping the same initial set of direction vec-
tors. In the second experiment we have ”optimal” transform
T= (0.000000083872180 radians, 4.000013351440430 pixels
along x, 4.000064849853516 pixels along y). From the two
experiments it is obvious that it is difficult, if not impossible,
to know a priori the initial point and the initial set of direction
vectors that will lead us to the global optimum.
(a) (b)
Fig. 2: Second failed experiment of the original method:
(a)Transformed Source image using Maes’ method, (b) Dif-
ference Image between SubFigs. 1.(b) and 2.(a)
In Fig. 3 we show the progression of Powell’s method during
the search of the ”optimum” transformation both for starting
point (0, 0, 0) and (0, 4.0, 4.0).
In both experiments the method stops after a few iterations
at a local optimum. The existence of local optima in mutual
information combined with the fact that for each pair of images
we have a unique (non-convex) form of mutual information,
makes the choice of good initial point and direction vector
Fig. 3: Mutual information Graph of the failed experiments
set a very critical task which in the original method it is very
difficult to control in order to find the correct transformation
i.e. the global optimum. In the following subsection we present
our method explaining how this problem is addressed.
C. Genetic Algorithms
As we’ve seen in the previous section, Maes’ algorithm
has some limitations which may lead to erroneous results
especially in images of complex patterns or/and symmetries,
bad quality or in difficult transformation problems in gen-
eral. In this subsection, we discuss the possibility of solving
the problem with the use of genetic algorithms. Genetic
algorithms have been previously used in image registration.
They belong to the wider family of evolutionary algorithms,
a class of heuristic optimization algorithms which imitate
(certain aspects of) biological evolution. In order to understand
the reason genetic algorithm is used, its nature must be
understood. In the field of artificial intelligence, a genetic
algorithm is a heuristic search that emulates the Darwinian
evolution, according to which some traits of the members of
a population may give them an advantage over the rest in
survival and reproduction. The members with the favoured
traits will have a higher probability to survive long enough
to reproduce and have eventually more offspring, while those
with the least favoured traits gradually dwindle and eventually
disappear. The traits of a member are either inherited from the
parents of the offspring or the product of mutations. In genetic
algorithms, the principles of Darwinian evolution are applied.
A population of random candidate solutions, called generation,
is initialized, where each candidate solution is known as chro-
mosome/genome containing genes. Then, in every iteration a
fraction of the current generation is selected (with emphasis
to the genomes of high fitness) for reproduction, producing a
number of new candidate genomes, which in turn are subjected
to random mutation. After the mutation process, the fitness of
each genome of the new generation is evaluated. At the end
of the iteration, the new population replaces the current one
and the process is repeated. At the end of each iteration we
keep its current best as the optimum solution to our problem.
The rationale for our choice of a genetic algorithm is its
resistance in avoiding local optima (the method of avoiding
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
them will be explained further below) and the fact that they
don’t need derivatives to find the local optimum, which is
quite useful, especially if the derivative of the function we
want to optimize is difficult, to calculate. In the next section
the proposed method is analytically presented in detail.
In the previous subsection we presented a general description
of the genetic algorithms, of which there are many variants.
Here we present analytically the proposed method for opti-
mization of mutual information in the registration process.
A. Elitism
Elitism[26], is a variant of genetic algorithms. During the
iterations, we may come along a solution (or solutions) that
might be (more or less) close to the global optimum. Instead
of destroying the good solution(s) through crossover and
mutation, we let them pass to the next population unchanged,
replacing some of the new solution, usually the least fit ones.
This variant guarantees that the quality of the solution obtained
by the genetic algorithm won’t decrease during its progres-
sion, therefore leading to quicker convergence. Since mutual
information (as a function of the transformation matrix T) is a
non-convex function, conventional methods may quite possibly
fail in finding the optimal transformation Topt. Therefore we
use genetic algorithms, and specifically elitism. The reason
for choosing elitism is the fact that since there are so many
local optima, we need a method that not only overcomes
a local optimum, but also use information from previous
generation(s) that may be useful in finding the global optimum.
After all, the previous generation’s best solution may be a
local optimum that could be very close to the global one.
In the next generation, that optimum, through crossover and
mutation, could be discarded and therefore lose an opportunity
to converge to the global optimum. By using elitism, we can
use previous information about the problem and converge
quicker to the global optimum. In Fig. 4 we can see the
successful result of the proposed method that uses elitism in
the same image pair as Figs 1,2.
Genetic algorithms tend to be computationally inefficient due
to many repetitions of function evaluation. In order to reduce
the execution time, we use generation stalemate, i.e. when the
search after a certain number of generations fails to find a new,
better solution, the algorithm terminates. With this way, we
avoid unnecessary calculations. Below we present the graphs
of mutual information with elitism and generation stalemate
and the general genetic algorithm.
In Fig. 5 we see the progression of image registration (MRPD-
to-MRT1 registration) with and without the use of elitism. The
original variant stumble on a local optimum (albeit close to
the global, a case which is evident in Fig. 7.), while the elitism
variant shows greater progression and faster convergence for
the same parameters, making it more suitable for addressing
the drawbacks of Powell’s method. The same thing can be seen
in the following graphs (Figs. 6 and 7, respectively) where we
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
Fig. 4: A successful example using the proposed Method: (a)
MRPD Source Image, (b) MRT1 Target Image, (c) Trans-
formed Source image using proposed method, (d) Difference
Image between SubFigs. (b) and (c)
Fig. 5: Graph of mutual information with and without elitism
for the MRPD-to-MRT1 registration
try to register MRPD and MRT1 to MRT2 (the images and
results of the proposed method are shown in Figs. 11 and 12).
Fig. 7: Graph of mutual information for MRT1-to-MRT2
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
Fig. 6: Graph of mutual information for MRPD-to-MRT2
Like in Fig. 5, in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7 our method converges
faster to the global minimum than the basic genetic algorithm
(The results of the proposed image registration method are
presented in subFigs. (c) and (d) in Figs. 11 and 12 respec-
B. Indicative results
For comparison purposes, in this section we present two image
registration methods of ITK (Insight Toolkit), which is an
image processing toolkit widely used in medical analysis. The
reason we choose ITK is because it is widely used both in
research and commercial applications and has been designed
for multi-model image registration which represents a difficult
problem in medical imaging (although ITK, just like our
method, can be used for general image processing). The first
ITK image registration method uses mutual information as a
correlation metric, but instead of Maes’ mutual information,
the current metric is developed by Mattes[29] and instead of
Powell’s method it uses Regular step gradient descent[30] for
the discovery of the optimum transformation for the alignment
of the images. The second method uses normalized mutual
information[13] which is a better correlation metric than
mutual information in dealing with partial overlap. Unlike
the previous method, this one uses one-plus-one evolution
strategy[30]. Both methods can be downloaded from [ http://]. In this section we
present a series of experiments of medical and remote sensing
image registration, using our variant of Maes’ image registra-
tion method and compare its results with those of the two ITK
image registration methods. In each experiment the methods’
maximum number of iterations is 6000. In the novel method
we set boundaries for rotation and translation along x and y
equal to (-0.6, 0.6) radians and [-200,200] pixels respectively,
although they can be omitted since an image with width W and
height H has rotation space (-π,π) and maximum translation
W and H along x and y axis respectively, rendering the method
(almost) automatic. For the comparison of the accuracy of
the methods we calculate the mutual information of the target
image and the transformed source image. In Table 1 we present
the values of the mutual information for each experiment
performed using our method NMM (Novel Maes’ Method)
and the two ITK methods and in Table 2 the duration in
seconds of the algorithms. In Table 1 we have the results of the
experiments where we used patients’ data (patients 001-007)
from R.I.R.E (Retrospective Image Registration Evaluation
Project- ).
TABLE I: Results of Mutual Information using two ITK
techniques and our proposed method NMM (Novel Maes’
Method) in the images from the Retrospective Image Reg-
istration Evaluation Project
Mutual Information after registration
Experiment ITK1 ITK2 NMM
1) PD to T1 1.5797 1.5815 1.5792
2) T1 to PD 1.2793 1.2781 1.2388
3) PD to T2 1.3213 1.3181 1.2793
4) T2 to PD 1.1153 1.1222 1.0919
5) T1 to T2 1.1746 1.1764 1.1661
6) T2 to T1 1.2687 1.2679 1.2632
7) PD to T1 1.5245 1.5251 1.5201
8) T1 to PD 1.2409 1.2445 1.223
9) PD to T2 1.5503 1.5554 1.5082
10) T2 to PD 1.2693 1.2695 1.2607
11) T1 to T2 1.3505 1.3532 1.3236
12) T2 to T1 1.4199 1.4193 1.411
13) PD to T1 1.5272 1.5272 1.4517
14) T1 to PD 1.1454 1.1434 1.0975
15) PD to T2 1.3985 1.4019 1.3981
16) T2 to PD 1.1162 1.0598 1.0741
17) T1 to T2 1.2447 1.2423 1.2202
18) T2 to T1 1.346 1.3459 1.3129
19) PD to T1 1.6942 1.6927 1.5711
20) T1 to PD 1.1566 1.1592 1.1245
21) PD to T2 1.5152 1.5201 1.4694
22) T2 to PD 1.2006 1.2005 1.1719
23) T1 to T2 1.2857 1.2841 1.2868
24) T2 to T1 1.5933 1.5958 1.542
25) PD to T1 1.5944 1.5957 1.5231
26) T1 to PD 1.1389 1.1397 1.1248
27) PD to T2 1.5697 1.5759 1.5784
28) T2 to PD 1.1092 1.1101 1.0675
29) T1 to T2 1.3824 1.382 1.365
30) T2 to T1 1.3609 1.3596 1.3331
Patient006 31) PD to T2 1.5943 1.0504 1.5456
32) T2 to PD 1.0593 0.9437 1.037
33) PD to T1 1.5781 1.0441 1.5755
34) T1 to PD 1.0737 1.0732 1.0536
35) PD to T2 1.4096 1.4164 1.3659
36) T2 to PD 1.1616 1.1658 1.1237
37) T1 to T2 1.1611 1.1618 1.114
38) T2 to T1 1.4485 0.978 1.4099
Apart from the medical image registration experiments we
compared our method also in a series of remote sens-
ing images (
testimag/index.htm). In Table 3 we present the mutual infor-
mation of the images after the registration process and in Table
4 we present the corresponding durations.
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
TABLE II: Duration of the registration experiments of Table
Time required for registration (secs)
Experiment ITK 2 ITK 2 NMM
Patient 001
1) PD to T1 20 527 1109
2) T1 to PD 16 544 1151
3) PD to T2 24 554 949
4) T2 to PD 19 543 433
5) T1 to T2 13 578 1794
6) T2 to T1 15 529 1246
Patient 002
7) PD to T1 16 531 839
8) T1 to PD 21 543 1287
9) PD to T2 23 531 1555
10) T2 to PD 21 542 353
11) T1 to T2 20 543 1032
12) T2 to T1 22 538 1496
Patient 003
13) PD to T1 10 536 1413
14) T1 to PD 31 525 841
15) PD to T2 194 583 1168
16) T2 to PD 15 552 1403
17) T1 to T2 61 545 325
18) T2 to T1 189 509 1088
Patient 004
19) PD to T1 25 559 1075
20) T1 to PD 17 536 798
21) PD to T2 86 522 1135
22) T2 to PD 69 531 1362
23) T1 to T2 18 557 882
24) T2 to T1 73 530 361
Patient 005
25) PD to T1 22 554 1121
26) T1 to PD 23 520 1195
27) PD to T2 124 482 999
28) T2 to PD 57 539 1266
29) T1 to T2 51 527 904
30) T2 to T1 46 498 1513
Patient 006 31) PD to T2 25 527 1455
32) T2 to PD 28 543 1103
Patient 007
33) PD to T1 22 551 778
34) T1 to PD 185 521 981
35) PD to T2 29 565 341
36) T2 to PD 58 535 1247
37) T1 to T2 18 552 895
38) T2 to T1 32 536 1282
TABLE III: Results of Image Registration of Remote Sensing
Mutual Information after registration
Experiments ITK1 ITK2 NMM
b0 1) b040 to b042 0.1055 0.1096 1.0759
2) b042 to b040 0.1108 0.1097 0.6852
casitas 3) casitas84 to casitas86 0.2394 0.2587 0.688
4) casitas86 to casitas84 0.1039 0.1686 0.4724
dunes 5) dunes883 to dunes885 0.9199 1.8126 1.5021
6) dunes885 to dunes883 0.8608 1.8332 1.5018
exp 7) exp186 to exp188 0.8335 0.7899 1.0588
8) exp188 to exp186 0.8492 0.8551 1.1052
gav 9) gav88 to gav90 1.1539 1.1537 0.9734
10) gav90 to gav88 0.2661 1.3648 1.2079
gribralt 11) gibralt84 to gibralt86 0.3896 0.8971 0.7395
12) gibralt86 to gibralt84 0.263 0.8941 0.7887
img 13) img1 to img2 0.0487 0.0459 0.0646
14) img2 to img1 0.0464 0.0737 0.1199
mono 15) mono1 to mono3 0.7496 0.8178 1.1084
16) mono3 to mono1 1.2164 0.8715 1.1794
mtns1 17) mtn1 to mtn3 0.4217 0.4352 1.5521
18) mtn3 to mtn1 0.2765 0.2772 0.9758
mtns2 19) mtn4 to mtn7 1.5368 1.5631 1.2286
20) mtn7 to mtn4 1.5058 1.51 1.7308
sci 21) sci84 to sci86 1.1758 1.1799 1.0954
22) sci86 to sci84 0.5965 1.3389 1.1148
TABLE IV: Duration of the registration experiments of Table
Time required for registration (secs)
Experiment ITK1 ITK2 NMM
b0 1) b040 to b042 654 2387 3056
2) b042 to b040 1117 2483 5621
casitas 3) casitas84 to casitas86 536 3099 7455
4) casitas86 to casitas84 436 3062 7743
dunes 5) dunes883 to dunes885 290 1354 2377
6) dunes883 to dunes885 1925 1325 2686
exp 7) exp186 to exp188 122 1404 2268
8) exp188 to exp186 1084 1316 2586
gav 9) gav88 to gav90 469 3222 8008
10) gav90 to gav88 729 3219 5435
gibralt 11) gibralt84 to gibralt86 861 3178 4570
12) gibralt86 to gibralt84 1173 3228 4756
img 13) img1 to img2 222 2444 3867
14) img2 to img1 294 2557 3403
mono 15) mono1 to mono3 331 475 727
16) mono3 to mono1 83 486 692
Mtns1 17) mtn1 to mtn3 152 1360 4758
18) mtn3 to mtn1 137 1411 3557
Mtns2 19) mtn4 to mtn7 204 1330 3474
20) mtn7 to mtn4 241 1365 3785
sci 21) sci84 to sci86 312 1245 2141
22) sci86 to sci84 313 1268 2061
In the next graphs (Figs. 8-9) we present the mean difference
of pixels in the difference image after registration correspond-
ing to the previous Tables (blue for ITK1 method red for ITK2
method and green for our proposed method NMM).
Fig. 8: Mean pixel difference in the difference image medical
image registration experiments (Less is better)
Fig. 9: Mean pixel difference in the difference in remote
sensing image registration experiments (less is better)
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
In Figs. 10-12 we present a series of indicative success-
ful results of medical image registration using our pro-
posed method NMM and the ITK methods (MRPD-to-
MRT2, MRT1-to-MRT2). The medical image are from RIRE
( rire/ ). In each of theses
figures, Subfig. (a) and (b) are the source image and target
image respectively, (c) is the transformed source image using
the proposed method and (d) the difference between (c) and
(b). The Subfig. (e) and (g) are the transformations using the
ITK1 and ITK2 methods respectively. Finally, Subfig. (f) and
(h) are the respective difference images between Subfigs. (b)
and (e), (g).
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
(e) (f)
(g) (h)
Fig. 10: MRPD-to-MRT1: (a) Source Image, (b) Target Image,
(c) Result of novel method NMM, (d) Difference Image
between (b) and (c), (e) Result of ITK1 method, (f) Difference
Image between (b) and (e), (g) Result of ITK2 method, (h)
Difference Image between (b) and (g)
Next, in Figs. 13-16, a series of remote sensing image regis-
tration is presented.
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
(e) (f)
(g) (h)
Fig. 11: MRPD-to-MRT2: (a) Source Image, (b) Target Image,
(c) Result of novel method NMM, (d) Difference Image
between (b) and (c), (e) Result of ITK1 method, (f) Difference
Image between (b) and (e), (g) Result of ITK2 method, (h)
Difference Image between (b) and (g)
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
(e) (f)
(g) (h)
Fig. 12: MRT1-to-MRT2: (a) Source Image, (b) Target Image,
(c) Result of novel method NMM, (d) Difference Image
between (b) and (c), (e) Result of ITK1 method, (f) Difference
Image between (b) and (e), (g) Result of ITK2 method, (h)
Difference Image between (b) and (g)
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
(e) (f)
(g) (h)
Fig. 13: b040-to-b042: (a) Source Image, (b) Target Image, (c)
Result of novel method NMM, (d) Difference Image between
(b) and (c), (e) Result of ITK1 method, (f) Difference Image
between (b) and (e), (g) Result of ITK2 method, (h) Difference
Image between (b) and (g)
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
(e) (f)
(g) (h)
Fig. 14: b042-to-b040: (a) Source Image, (b) Target Image, (c)
Result of novel method NMM, (d) Difference Image between
(b) and (c), (e) Result of ITK1 method, (f) Difference Image
between (b) and (e), (g) Result of ITK2 method, (h) Difference
Image between (b) and (g)
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
(e) (f)
(g) (h)
Fig. 15: casitas84-to-casitas86: (a) Source Image, (b) Target
Image, (c) Result of novel method NMM, (d) Difference Image
between (b) and (c), (e) Result of ITK1 method, (f) Difference
Image between (b) and (e), (g) Result of ITK2 method, (h)
Difference Image between (b) and (g)
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
(e) (f)
(g) (h)
Fig. 16: casitas86-to-casitas84: (a) Source Image, (b) Target
Image, (c) Result of novel method NMM, (d) Difference Image
between (b) and (c), (e) Result of ITK1 method, (f) Difference
Image between (b) and (e), (g) Result of ITK2 method, (h)
Difference Image between (b) and (g)
Apart from determining the search space, the probabilities of
mutation and crossover and the population size, no initializa-
tion or any intermediate interaction is needed, which renders
the method automatic. In Table 1 in almost every experiment
the values of the indices regarding our method are quite close
to those of the two ITK methods, indicating that our method
can achieve very good results in medical multi-modal rigid
image registration cases. This can be seen as well in Figs.
10-12. The ITK methods slightly surpasses our method due
to their ability to handle better the physical space of the
images. Furthermore, ITK2 method uses normalized mutual
information as a similarity measure which is more robust than
mutual information[13]. On the other hand, as we see in Table
3, our novel method seems to outperform the ITK methods
in remote sensing image registration, where more difficult
geometric transformations need to be dealt with and the image
pairs often have repetitive patterns which lead to increased
local optima of Mutual Information. These promising results
indicate that our method produces better results for a diversity
of image pairs, making it a good candidate for becoming
a generalized image rigid registration tool especially when
robustness is needed. In Fig. 8 we see that our method has
similar results of difference image mean pixel value with those
of the ITK methods, while in Fig. 9 for the remote sensing
image registration experiments, it is evident that our method
in most cases outperforms the ITK methods and as is shown in
Figs. 13-16 it finds the right transformation in difficult cases
where the other methods fail. The reason for the extended
method’s ability to deal with large deformations successfully
lies on the ability of genetic algorithms to overcome local
optima more efficiently than other (especially conventional)
methods. The problem of the local optima is especially obvious
in the ITK method that uses Regular Step Gradient Descent
to optimize Mattes’ Mutual information, which is a method
that can easily stumble upon local minima. However, genetic
algorithms cannot always guarantee that the global optimum
will be found, since there is still a chance (albeit small
one) to stumble on a local one. That is a problem that
depends on the nature of the optimization problem and can
be solved, at least partially, either by using proper values for
the rates of crossover and mutation or by using other methods
of diversification. To this end, in order to ensure that our
method will be more robust, a relatively high mutation rate,
in combination with elitism, was used. In Table 2 and Table
4, where the duration times for each experiment performed
by the three methods are presented, it is obvious that our
method is slower than the two ITK methods which comes as a
compromise for the increased robustness against local optima.
However its effectiveness compensates for its lack of speed
and can become the method of choice in many application that
speed is not critical. For example, in remote sensing mapping
the existence even of a small error in registration can have
great impact on global change measurement accuracy [31],
[32] (1 pixel misregistration means 50% error in Vegetation
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
Index computation ). In future work a further study in selecting
a faster similarity metric than mutual information will help us
reduce the duration time of the algorithm. Also, the success
of the presented methods in difficult cases as shown in Figs.
13-16 indicates that it can be suitable for temporal registration
problems either in medical imaging or remote sensing where
multi-temporal effects render the alignment of the image pair
a difficult task. In conclusion, the presented method can be
used in advantage as a robust and generic rigid registration
tool where robustness is critical and fast execution is not a
In this Appendix we present the details of the parameters of
the genetic algorithm (Population size, selection, cross over
probability and mutation probability), in order to gain further
insight to this method, as well as the optimization methods
used by ITK (Regular step gradient descent and One-Plus-One
evolutionary strategy).
A. Population Size
Unlike other optimization methods such as simulated an-
nealing which compute only one possible solution at every
iteration, genetic algorithms evaluate a population of possible
solutions. That gives the genetic algorithm the advantage of
further exploration in the search space where our optimal solu-
tion lies. The population size mustn’t be very small, due to the
fact that small populations are prone to have the frequencies of
their genes changed (in biology this phaenomenon is known as
genetic drift). But a very large population size is not favourable
due to extra computational burden.
B. Selection
The selection method is the process through which a fraction
of the current generation is chosen for reproduction. The
selection must be done so that the fittest of the current
generation are chosen for reproduction (because they might
have the genes closer to the optimal solution), without the
exclusion of those less fit (in order to maintain diversity and
avoid being led to any local optima). There are a number of
methods for this process. Some of them rank the solutions with
respect to their fitness (the higher the fitness, the higher the
rank), giving emphasis to those of higher rank, while others
choose randomly solutions (of high or low fitness) from the
current generation.
C. Crossover Probability
The success of the genetic algorithms is based on the ”building
block” hypothesis. According to it, low-order schemata of
average fitness (called building blocks), if combined properly,
they can build high order schemata of higher-than-average
fitness. The Crossover probability (Crp) indicates the repro-
ductive probability of the parents. For N-sized population the
solutions/genomes that undergo crossover are CrpN. The
higher the probability, the quicker the adding of new solutions
to the population is. If the probability is too high, then high-
fitness individuals are discarded faster than the production of
improvements, but too small probability should be avoided due
to loss of potential of solution exploration.
D. Mutation Probability
Mutation is the key to evolution. Many mutations are neutral,
while others are harmful, but sometimes mutations may give
the members of a species advantageous traits making them
more fit, more able to successfully procreate and eventually
supplant the less fit, driving them to extinction. The purpose
of mutation is to rediversify a stagnant population, (i.e. a
population whose members have are genetically homogenous)
which could be the result of stumbling onto a local optimum. A
low mutation probability leads to slow, if any, diversification,
while a high mutation rate may destroy the good solutions
(unless elitism is applied) and make the genetic algorithm
behave like a random search algorithm.
E. Regular Step Gradient Descent
Given an objective function C(µ), where µthe argument
vector, in regular step gradient descent, we start from two
initial points µ0and µ1and we use the following function in
order to go to the next point:
µk+1 =µkκαk
Where k= 1,2,· · · ,,κa relaxation factor between 0 and 1
(small value of κmeans slower convergence), and αka variant
which in regular step gradient descent is determined by the
inner product of the derivatives of function C(µ) at points µk
and µk1. The choice of the two initial points is critical for
the convergence of the algorithm, since a bad initial choice
can lead to a local optimum (especially when the function to
be optimized is non convex).
F. One-Plus-One Evolutionary Strategy
The idea is simple: at each iteration a member/solution of the
population (known as generation) has a child, which is the
product of the mutated parent. If the child’s fitness is at least
equal to that of the parent, it replaces the parent and becomes
the parent of the next generation. Otherwise it is discarded.
Below is the steps of the One-Plus-One Evolution Strategy.
1) Initialize parent P
2) Create child newP by mutating P
3) If newP is better than P, then P=newP, else discard
4) If termination conditions are not met, then go to
Step 2
5) Return P
Evolution strategy, like genetic algorithms, tends to deal better
with local optima making it a very good choice in optimizing
non-convex function, whose behaviour is unpredictable.
International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
The authors acknowledge support from the European Union’s
Seventh Framework Programme project RASimAS under grant
agreement no 610425.
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International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security (IJCSIS),
Vol. 14, No. 5, May 2016
ISSN 1947-5500
... Among the Evolutionary algorithms, Genetic algorithms have been extensively used in IIR [10], [11], [12], [13]. Of all the variants of the basic algorithm used for IIR, elitism is also used [1], [5], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20]. In [17] the images of the retina vessels are extracted and used for the registration process using elitist genetic algorithm (keeping the four best elements of the current generation unchanged). ...
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