POSEA: A novel algorithm to evaluate the performance of multi-object instance image segmentation

Nianchao Wang, Linghao Hu, Alex J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many techniques and software packages have been developed to segment individual cells within microscopy images, necessitating a robust method to evaluate images segmented into a large number of unique objects. Currently, segmented images are often compared with ground-truth images at a pixel level; however, this standard pixel-level approach fails to compute errors due to pixels incorrectly assigned to adjacent objects. Here, we define a per-object segmentation evaluation algorithm (POSEA) that calculates segmentation accuracy metrics for each segmented object relative to a ground truth segmented image. To demonstrate the performance of POSEA, precision, recall, and f-measure metrics are computed and compared with the standard pixel-level evaluation for simulated images and segmented fluorescence microscopy images of three different cell samples. POSEA yields lower accuracy metrics than the standard pixel-level evaluation due to correct accounting of misclassified pixels of adjacent objects. Therefore, POSEA provides accurate evaluation metrics for objects with pixels incorrectly assigned to adjacent objects and is robust for use across a variety of applications that require evaluation of the segmentation of unique adjacent objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0283692
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3 MARCH
StatePublished - Mar 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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