Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)


Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Frederick J. Vetter


Many image processing problems require the detection of objects in an image. In problems such as these, active contours are widely used to extract features of interest from an image or model for computer analysis. Many examples of active contour applications come from biomedical image processing, where both healthy and diseased areas of the body can be detected, counted, and/or measured; however, a number of other applications of active contours exist outside of the biomedical field. This paper will survey the state of active contours and deliver software that can be used to explore the various nuances of active contour application. The topics in this paper include an explanation of internal energy and external energy using the Marr method, Gradient Vector Flow (GVF) method, and Vector Field Convolution (VFC) method. This paper will focus on 2-D active contours, but almost all of these methods can also be used to _t an active surface to 3-D objects. In the appendix, a Matlab program is provided that implements these methods.