[Networkit] Image Segmentation

Christian Staudt christian.staudt at kit.edu
Thu Aug 7 19:01:16 CEST 2014

Hi Marcel,

Am 07.08.2014 um 17:46 schrieb Marcel Radermacher <marcel.radermacher at student.kit.edu>:

> as the GALA Sprint is coming up soon, I'd like to ask how my image
> segmentation algorithm and image segmentation in general fits into
> NetworKit?

That’s a good question without an easy answer. My too short answer would be: badly. 
NetworKit is a tool focused on complex network analysis, and image segmentation is not network analysis.
A tool should do one thing and one thing well. But in this case that „one thing“ needs a very rich
collection of algorithms, concepts, etc. And so code from NetworKit can be easily used to build
all kinds of things, for example a graph partitioner, a linear equations solver, or perhaps a recommender system, or maybe a search engine...
There is a certain danger of losing focus since currently the project is more driven by developer ideas than user needs. 

A possible long-term solution for efficient code reuse would be to split the project into components/libraries, like a core with the data structures
 and general algorithms, a utilities bundle, and the network analysis tool proper, together with other applications based on the core components.

> Are there any serious thoughts about adding further image
> segmentation algorithms to NetworKit?

None that I know of, and if there were, I would vote for factoring out a separate project with another maintainer.

>  This implies adding a new dependency to NetworKit,
> i.e. libpng1.6. I guess this means adding more trouble to installing
> NetworKit (with pip)

I am very critical of adding dependencies on the C++ level. (We even wrote our own logging library eventually because of trouble with log4cxx.)
Especially if it is a dependency needed by one task only.

So much in general. In the special case of your project: It is definitely a good project that should not disappear into a drawer. A 4th alternative may be showcasing the project on the website as a special application based on NetworKit. We’ll speak about the options again on Monday.


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