Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

A New Measure in Cell Image Segmentation Data Analysis



Jin Chu Wu, Michael W. Halter, Raghu N. Kacker, John T. Elliott


Cell image segmentation (CIS) is critical for quantitative imaging in cytometric analyses. The data derived after segmentation can be used to infer cellular function. To evaluate CIS algorithms, first for dealing with comparisons of single cells treated as two-dimensional objects, a misclassification error rate (MER) is defined as a weighted sum of the false negative rate and the false positive rate. Then, all cells’ MERs are aggregated to constitute a new measure called the total error rate, which statistically takes account of the sizes of the cells in such a way that an algorithm pays larger penalty if larger sizes of cells are not segmented correctly. This total error rate is used to measure the performance level of CIS algorithms. It was tested by applying ten CIS algorithms taken from the ImageJ to our 106 cells with different sizes, which were also manually segmented to be treated as the ground-truth cells. The test results were supported by the primitive pairwise comparison between two algorithms’ MERs on all cells.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7871
Report Number


Cell image segmentation, Measure, Total error rate, Total probability, Misclassification error rate, False negative rate, False positive rate.


, J. , Halter, M. , Kacker, R. and Elliott, J. (2012), A New Measure in Cell Image Segmentation Data Analysis, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 12, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 24, 2012, Updated November 10, 2018