Reducing overlapped pixels: a multi-objective color thresholding approach

Salvador Hinojosa, Diego Oliva, Erik Cuevas, Gonzalo Pajares, Daniel Zaldivar, Marco Pérez-Cisneros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a general multi-objective thresholding segmentation methodology for color images and a quality metric designed to prevent and quantify the overlapping effect of segmented images. Multi-level thresholding (MTH) has been used to segment color images in recent years; this process considers each channel as a single grayscale image and applies the MTH independently. Although this method provides competitive results, the inherent relationship among color channels is disregarded. Such approaches generate spurious classes on overlapping regions, where new colors are generated, especially on the borders of the objects. The proposed multi-objective color thresholding (MOCTH) approach performs image segmentation while preserving the relationship between image channels. MOCTH is aimed to reduce the overlapping effect on segmented color images without performing additional post-processing. To measure the overlapping classes on a thresholded color image, the overlapping index is proposed to quantify the pixels affected. The presented approach is analyzed on two color spaces (RGB and CIE L*a*b*) using three multi-objective algorithms; they are NSGA-III, SPEA-2, and MOPSO. Results provide evidence pointing out to a better segmentation from MOCTH over the traditional single-objective approaches while reducing overlapped areas on the image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6787-6807
Number of pages21
JournalSoft Computing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Evolutionary algorithms
  • Multi-level thresholding
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Overlapping Index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Geometry and Topology

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