Comparative Study on Noise-Estimation-Based Fuzzy C-Means Clustering for Image Segmentation

Cong Wang, Meng Chu Zhou, Witold Pedrycz, Zhi Wu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Since a noisy image has inferior characteristics, the direct use of Fuzzy {C} -Means (FCM) to segment it often produces poor image segmentation results. Intuitively, using its ideal value (noise-free image) benefits FCM's robustness enhancement. Therefore, the realization of accurate noise estimation in FCM is a new and important task. To date, only two noise-estimation-based FCM algorithms have been proposed for image segmentation, that is: 1) deviation-sparse FCM (DSFCM) and 2) our earlier proposed residual-driven FCM (RFCM). In this article, we make a thorough comparative study of DSFCM and RFCM. We demonstrate that an RFCM framework can realize more accurate noise estimation than DSFCM when different types of noise are involved. It is mainly thanks to its utilization of noise distribution characteristics instead of noise sparsity used in DSFCM. We show that DSFCM is a particular case of RFCM, thus signifying that they are the same when only impulse noise is involved. With a spatial information constraint, we demonstrate RFCM's superior effectiveness and efficiency over DSFCM in terms of supporting experiments with different levels of single, mixed, and unknown noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-253
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Comparative study
  • Fuzzy C-Means (FCM)
  • distribution characteristic
  • image segmentation
  • noise estimation


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