Section: Software and Platforms

The LOCUS software

Participants : Florence Forbes, Senan James Doyle.

Joint work with: Michel Dojat from Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience and Benoit Scherrer from Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

From brain MR images, neuroradiologists are able to delineate tissues such as grey matter and structures such as Thalamus and damaged regions. This delineation is a common task for an expert but unsupervised segmentation is difficult due to a number of artefacts. The LOCUS software (http://locus.gforge.inria.fr ) automatically perform this segmentation for healthy brains An image is divided into cubes on each of which a statistical model is applied. This provides a number of local treatments that are then integrated to ensure consistency at a global level, resulting in low sensitivity to artifacts. The statistical model is based on a Markovian approach that enables to capture the relations between tissues and structures, to integrate a priori anatomical knowledge and to handle local estimations and spatial correlations.

The LOCUS software has been developed in the context of a collaboration between Mistis, a computer science team (Magma, LIG) and a Neuroscience methodological team (the Neuroimaging team from Grenoble Institut of Neurosciences, INSERM). This collaboration resulted over the period 2006-2008 into the PhD thesis of B. Scherrer (advised by C. Garbay and M. Dojat) and in a number of publications. In particular, B. Scherrer received a "Young Investigator Award" at the 2008 MICCAI conference.

The originality of this work comes from the successful combination of the teams respective strengths i.e. expertise in distributed computing, in neuroimaging data processing and in statistical methods.