A colour hit-or-miss transform based on a rank ordered distance measure

Fraser Macfarlane, Paul Murray, Stephen Marshall, Benjamin Perret, Adrian Evans, Henry White

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

1 Citation (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


The Hit-or-Miss Transform (HMT) is a powerful morphological operation that can be utilised in many digital image analysis problems. Its original binary definition and its extension to grey-level images have seen it applied to various template matching and object detection tasks. However, further extending the transform to incorporate colour or multivariate images is problematic since there is no general or intuitive way of ordering data which allows the formal definition of morphological operations in the traditional manner. In this paper, instead of following the usual strategy for Mathematical Morphology, based on the definition of a total order in the colour space, we propose a transform that relies on a colour or multivariate distance measure. As with the traditional HMT operator, our proposed transform uses two structuring elements (SE) - one for the foreground and one for the background - and retains the idea that a good fitting is obtained when the foreground SE is a close match to the image and the background SE matches the image complement. This allows for both flat and non-flat structuring elements to be used in object detection. Furthermore, the use of ranking operations on the computed distances allows the operator to be robust to noise and partial occlusion of objects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 26th European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO)
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9789082797015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Dec 2018
Event26th European Signal Processing Conference - Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 Sep 20187 Sep 2018


Conference26th European Signal Processing Conference
Abbreviated titleEUSIPCO 2018
Internet address


  • image processing
  • mathematical morphology
  • hit-or-miss transform
  • template matching
  • object detection

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