Intensity-Based Image Registration Using Robust Correlation Coefficients

Jeongtae Kim, Jeffrey A. Fessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


The ordinary sample correlation coefficient is a popular similarity measure for aligning images from the same or similar modalities. However, this measure can be sensitive to the presence of "outlier" objects that appear in one image but not the other, such as surgical instruments, the patient table, etc., which can lead to biased registrations. This paper describes an intensity-based image registration technique that uses a robust correlation coefficient as a similarity measure. Relative to the ordinary sample correlation coefficient, the proposed similarity measure reduces the influence of outliers. We also compared the performance of the proposed method with the mutual information-based method. The robust correlation-based method should be useful for image registration in radiotherapy (KeV to MeV X-ray images) and image-guided surgery applications. We have investigated the properties of the proposed method by theoretical analysis, computer simulations, a phantom experiment, and with functional magnetic resonance imaging data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1430-1444
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received July 2, 2003; revised January 30, 2004. This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Grant P01-CA59827, Grant R01-CA81161, and Grant R01-CA60711. The Associate Editor responsible for coordinating the review of this paper and recommending its publication was M. H. Lowe. Asterisk indicates corresponding author. *J. Kim is with the Information Electronics Department, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, Korea (e-mail:


  • Image registration
  • Mutual information
  • Outlier
  • Robust correlation coefficient
  • Robustness


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