Skeleton-based noise removal algorithm for binary concrete crack image segmentation

Dow, Hamish and Perry, Marcus and McAlorum, Jack and Pennada, Sanjeetha and Dobie, Gordon (2023) Skeleton-based noise removal algorithm for binary concrete crack image segmentation. Automation in Construction, 151. 104867. ISSN 0926-5805 (

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Image processing methods for automated concrete crack detection are often challenged by binary noise. Noise removal methods decrease the false positive pixels of crack detection results, often at the cost of a reduction in true positives. This paper proposes a novel method for binary noise removal and segmentation of noisy concrete crack images. The method applies an area threshold before reducing the pixel groups in the image to a skeleton. Each skeleton is connected to its nearest neighbour before the remaining short skeletons in the image are removed using a length threshold. A morphological reconstruction follows to remove all elements in the original noisy image that do not intersect with the skeleton. Finally, pixel groups in close proximity to the endpoints of the pixel groups in the resulting image are reinstated. Testing was conducted on a dataset of noisy binary crack images; the proposed method (Skele-Marker) obtained recall, precision, and F1 score results of 77%, 91%, and 84%, respectively. Skele-marker was compared to other methods found in literature and was found to outperform other methods in terms of precision and F1 score. The proposed method is used to make crack detection results more reliable, supporting the ever-growing demand for automated inspections of concrete structures.


Dow, Hamish ORCID logoORCID:, Perry, Marcus ORCID logoORCID:, McAlorum, Jack ORCID logoORCID:, Pennada, Sanjeetha and Dobie, Gordon ORCID logoORCID:;