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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

An improved parallel thinning algorithm

An iterative thinning algorithm reduces a two-dimensional pattern of strokes to its skeleton by removing layers of edge elements until each stroke has unit thickness. A parallel solution requires the independent calculation of new values for each iteration, using a window of nearest neighbors for each element. The traditional need for at least two subiterations can be avoided by modifying the window to permit the availability of intermediate calculations. Timings on an ICL DAP (an array processor) indicate an improvement of over 40 percent. Additional refinements are suggested to reduce noise in the final skeleton.

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