Characterizing Shape

Authored by: John C. Russ , F. Brent Neal

The Image Processing Handbook

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781498740265
eBook ISBN: 9781498740289
Adobe ISBN:


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Shape is not something that human languages are well equipped to deal with. The lack of vocabulary suggests that we do not do a very good job of describing shape to ourselves, yet alone to one another. We have few adjectives that represent or depict shape, even in an approximate way (e.g., rough vs. smooth, fat vs. skinny, straight vs. bent). In most conversational discussion of shapes, it is common to use a prototypical object instead. If someone says “shaped like an old Volkswagen” it may be based on the expectation that you share the same mental image of the “bug” from the 1960s, but your image might be of the van (with flowers) from the same period (Figure 11.1), resulting in a failure to communicate.

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