SNOW network extraction (advanced)#

The SNOW algorithm, published in Physical Review E, uses a marker-based watershed segmentation algorithm to partition an image into regions belonging to each pore. The main contribution of the SNOW algorithm is to find a suitable set of initial markers in the image so that the watershed is not over-segmented. SNOW is an acronym for Sub-Network of an Over-segmented Watershed. PoreSpy includes a predefined function called snow that applies all the steps automatically, but this example will illustrate the individual steps explicitly on a 3D image.

Start by importing the necessary packages:

import imageio
import numpy as np
import porespy as ps
import openpnm as op
import scipy.ndimage as spim
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from porespy.filters import find_peaks, trim_saddle_points, trim_nearby_peaks
from import randomize_colors
from skimage.segmentation import watershed

ps.settings.tqdm['disable'] = True
[17:48:12] ERROR    PARDISO solver not installed, run `pip install pypardiso`. Otherwise,
                    simulations will be slow. Apple M chips not supported.                                         

Generate artificial image#

One of the main aims when developing the SNOW algorithm was to extract networks from images other than sandstone, which is the main material studied by geoscientists. For this demonstration we’ll use a high porosity (>85%) image of fibrous media.

im = ps.generators.cylinders(shape=[200, 200, 200], r=5, ncylinders=200)
fig, ax = plt.subplots()

Step-by-step application of the SNOW algorithm#

Fist let’s find all the peaks of the distance transform which are theoretically suppose to lie at the center of each pore region. In reality this process finds too many peaks, but we’ll deal with this later.

sigma = 0.4
dt = spim.distance_transform_edt(input=im)
dt1 = spim.gaussian_filter(input=dt, sigma=sigma)
peaks = find_peaks(dt=dt)

The gaussian_filter is applied to the distance transform before finding the peaks, as this really reduces the number of spurious peaks by blurring the image slightly. The next few steps use custom made functions to help filter out remaining spurious peaks. The values of sigma and r are both adjustable but the defaults are usually acceptable.

print('Initial number of peaks: ', spim.label(peaks)[1])
peaks = trim_saddle_points(peaks=peaks, dt=dt1)
print('Peaks after trimming saddle points: ', spim.label(peaks)[1])
peaks = trim_nearby_peaks(peaks=peaks, dt=dt)
peaks, N = spim.label(peaks)
print('Peaks after trimming nearby peaks: ', N)
Initial number of peaks:  1539
Peaks after trimming saddle points:  683
Peaks after trimming nearby peaks:  519

The final image processing step is to apply the marker-based watershed function that is available in scikit-image to partition the image into pores. This function is wrapped by the PoreSpy function partition_pore_space. watershed can be called directly, but remember to invert the distance transform so that peaks become valleys (just multiply by -1). This step is the slowest part of the process by far, but could be sped up if a faster implementation of watershed is used. The 300**3 image used in this example will take about 1 minute to complete.

regions = watershed(image=-dt, markers=peaks, mask=dt > 0)
regions = randomize_colors(regions)

This should produce an image with each voxel labelled according to which pore it belongs. The patches seem to be a bit odd looking but this is just an artifact of considering a 2D slice through a 3D image.

fig, ax = plt.subplots()
ax.imshow((regions*im)[:, :, 100],;

Finally, this partitioned image can be passed to the network extraction function which analyzes the image and returns a Python dict containing the numerical properties of the network.

net = ps.networks.regions_to_network(regions*im, voxel_size=1)

This network can be opened in OpenPNM with ease, and then exported as a VTK file for viewing in ParaView.

pn =

You can inspect the network to see which properties have been extracted:

net : < at 0x7fca0440fbf0>
  #  Properties                                                   Valid Values
  2  throat.conns                                                  2169 / 2169
  3  pore.coords                                                     519 / 519
  4  pore.region_label                                               519 / 519
  5  pore.phase                                                      519 / 519
  6  throat.phases                                                 2169 / 2169
  7  pore.region_volume                                              519 / 519
  8  pore.equivalent_diameter                                        519 / 519
  9  pore.local_peak                                                 519 / 519
 10  pore.global_peak                                                519 / 519
 11  pore.geometric_centroid                                         519 / 519
 12  throat.global_peak                                            2169 / 2169
 13  pore.inscribed_diameter                                         519 / 519
 14  pore.extended_diameter                                          519 / 519
 15  throat.inscribed_diameter                                     2169 / 2169
 16  throat.total_length                                           2169 / 2169
 17  throat.direct_length                                          2169 / 2169
 18  throat.perimeter                                              2169 / 2169
 19  pore.volume                                                     519 / 519
 20  pore.surface_area                                               519 / 519
 21  throat.cross_sectional_area                                   2169 / 2169
 22  throat.equivalent_diameter                                    2169 / 2169
  #  Labels                                                 Assigned Locations
  2  pore.all                                                              519
  3  throat.all                                                           2169

Overlaying the network and the image is requires using paraview since the image is in 3D. The is one gotcha due to the differences in how paraview and numpy number axes: it is necessary to rotate the image using

im =
imageio.volsave('image.tif', np.array(im, dtype=np.int8))