Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Mei-Ling Shyu

Second Committee Member

Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb

Third Committee Member

Nigel John

Fourth Committee Member

Pradip Pattany

Fifth Committee Member

Weizhao Zhao


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of central nervous system. It may result in a variety of symptoms from blurred vision to severe muscle weakness and degradation, depending on the affected regions in brain. To better understand this disease and to quantify its evolution, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is increasingly used nowadays. Manual delineation of MS lesions in MR images by human expert is time-consuming, subjective, and prone to inter-expert variability. Therefore, automatic segmentation is needed as an alternative to manual segmentation. However, the progression of the MS lesions shows considerable variability and MS lesions present temporal changes in shape, location, and area between patients and even for the same patient, which renders the automatic segmentation of MS lesions a challenging problem. In this dissertation, a set of segmentation pipelines are proposed for automatic segmentation of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions from brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. These techniques use a trained support vector machine (SVM) to discriminate between the blocks in regions of MS lesions and the blocks in non-MS lesion regions mainly based on the textural features with aid of the other features. The main contribution of this set of frameworks is the use of textural features to detect MS lesions in a fully automated approach that does not rely on manually delineating the MS lesions. In addition, the technique introduces the concept of the multi-sectional views segmentation to produce verified segmentation. The multi-sectional views pipeline is customized to provide better segmentation performance and to benefit from the properties and the nature of MS lesion in MRI. These customization and enhancement leads to development of the customized MV-T-SVM. The MRI datasets that were used in the evaluation of the proposed pipelines are simulated MRI datasets (3 subjects) generated using the McGill University BrainWeb MRI Simulator, real datasets (51 subjects) publicly available at the workshop of MS Lesion Segmentation Challenge 2008 and real MRI datasets (10 subjects) for MS subjects acquired at the University of Miami. The obtained results indicate that the proposed method would be viable for use in clinical practice for the detection of MS lesions in MRI.


MRI; Texture Analysis; Brain Segmentation; Multiple Sclerosis; SVM; ROI; Multi-Sectional Views; Multi-Channels