Extraction of tongue region using graph and geometric information

Keun Ho Kim, Jeon Lee, Eunji Choi, Hyunhee Ryu, Jong Yeol Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Oriental medicine, the status of a tongue is the important indicator to diagnose one's health like physiological and clinicopathological changes of inner parts of the body. The method of tongue diagnosis is not only convenient but also non-invasive and widely used in Oriental medicine. However, tongue diagnosis is affected by examination circumstances a lot like a light source, patient's posture and doctor's condition. To develop an automatic tongue diagnosis system for an objective and standardized diagnosis, segmenting a tongue is inevitable but difficult since the colors of a tongue, lips and skin in a mouth are similar. The proposed method includes preprocessing, graph-based over-segmentation, detecting positions with a local minimum over shading, detecting edge with color difference and estimating edge geometry from the probable structure of a tongue, where preprocessing performs down-sampling to reduce computation time, histogram equalization and edge enhancement. A tongue was segmented from a face image with a tongue from a digital tongue diagnosis system by the proposed method. According to three oriental medical doctors' evaluation, it produced the segmented region to include effective information and exclude a non-tongue region. It can be used to make an objective and standardized diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2051-2057
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Korean Institute of Electrical Engineers
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Edge geometry estimation
  • Graph-based approach
  • Local minimum detection
  • Tongue diagnosis
  • Tongue segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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