Skeleton Ground Truth Extraction: Methodology, Annotation Tool and Benchmarks

Cong Yang*, Bipin Indurkhya, John See, Bo Gao, Yan Ke, Zeyd Boukhers, Zhenyu Yang, Marcin Grzegorzek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Skeleton Ground Truth (GT) is critical to the success of supervised skeleton extraction methods, especially with the popularity of deep learning techniques. Furthermore, we see skeleton GTs used not only for training skeleton detectors with Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), but also for evaluating skeleton-related pruning and matching algorithms. However, most existing shape and image datasets suffer from the lack of skeleton GT and inconsistency of GT standards. As a result, it is difficult to evaluate and reproduce CNN-based skeleton detectors and algorithms on a fair basis. In this paper, we present a heuristic strategy for object skeleton GT extraction in binary shapes and natural images. Our strategy is built on an extended theory of diagnosticity hypothesis, which enables encoding human-in-the-loop GT extraction based on clues from the target’s context, simplicity, and completeness. Using this strategy, we developed a tool, SkeView, to generate skeleton GT of 17 existing shape and image datasets. The GTs are then structurally evaluated with representative methods to build viable baselines for fair comparisons. Experiments demonstrate that GTs generated by our strategy yield promising quality with respect to standard consistency, and also provide a balance between simplicity and completeness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1241
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Vision
Issue number4
Early online date1 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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