A comparison of tracking methods for swimming C. elegans

Christophe Restif, Dimitris Metaxas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Tracking the swimming motion of C. elegans worms is of high interest for a variety of research projects on behavior in biology, from aging to mating studies. We compare six different tracking methods, derived from two types of image preprocessing, namely local and global thresholding methods, and from three types of segmentation methods: low-level vision, and articulated models of either constant or varying width. All these methods have been successfully used in recent related works, with some modifications to adapt them to swimming motions. We show a quantitative comparison of these methods using computer-vision measures. To discuss their relative strengths and weaknesses, we consider three scenarios of behavior studies, depending on the constraints of a C. elegans project, and give suggestions as to which methods are more adapted to each case, and how to further improve them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2010
Subtitle of host publicationImage Processing
EditionPART 1
StatePublished - 2010
EventMedical Imaging 2010: Image Processing - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2010Feb 16 2010

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2010: Image Processing
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


  • C. elegans
  • evaluation
  • segmentation
  • swimming
  • tracking

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