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Module Name

Otsu Threshold

CT Grayscale Data
After OtsuThresholdFilter applied with default settings

General Information

Module Type & Category

Type: CLI

Category: Filtering

Authors, Collaborators & Contact

  • Author: Bill Lorensen
  • Contact: bill.lorensen at

Module Description

This filter creates a binary thresholded image that separates an image into foreground and background components. The filter calculates the optimum threshold separating those two classes so that their combined spread (intra-class variance) is minimal (see Then the filter applies that threshold to the input image using the itkBinaryThresholdImageFilter. The numberOfHistogram bins can be set for the Otsu Calculator. The insideValue and outsideValue can be set for the BinaryThresholdImageFilter. The filter produces a labeled volume.

The original reference is: N.Otsu, ‘‘A threshold selection method from gray level histograms,’’ IEEE Trans.Syst.ManCybern.SMC-9,62–66 1979.


./OtsuThresholdImageFilter  [--processinformationaddress <std::string>]
                            [--xml] [--echo] [--numberOfBins <int>]
                            [--outsideValue <int>] [--insideValue <int>]
                            [--] [--version] [-h] <std::string>


--processinformationaddress <std::string>
  Address of a structure to store process information (progress, abort,
  etc.). (default: 0)

  Produce xml description of command line arguments (default: 0)

  Echo the command line arguments (default: 0)

--numberOfBins <int>
  The number of bins in the histogram (default: 128)

--outsideValue <int>
  The value assigned to pixels that are outside the computed threshold
  (default: 255)

--insideValue <int>
  The value assigned to pixels that are inside the computed threshold
  (default: 0)

--,  --ignore_rest
  Ignores the rest of the labeled arguments following this flag.

  Displays version information and exits.

-h,  --help
  Displays usage information and exits.

  (required)  Input volume to be filtered

  (required)  Output filtered

Source code & documentation

Source Code: OtsuThreshold.cxx

XML Description: OtsuThreshold.xml

More Information


This work is part of the National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NAMIC), funded by the National Institutes of Health through the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, Grant U54 EB005149. Information on the National Centers for Biomedical Computing can be obtained from National Centers for Biomedical Computing.