Graph-based Active Learning of Agglomeration (GALA): A python library to segment 2D and 3D neuroimages

Juan Nunez-Iglesias, Ryan Kennedy, Stephen M. Plaza, Anirban Chakraborty, William T. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The aim in high-resolution connectomics is to reconstruct complete neuronal connectivity in a tissue. Currently, the only technology capable of resolving the smallest neuronal processes is electron microscopy (EM). Thus, a common approach to network reconstruction is to perform (error-prone) automatic segmentation of EM images, followed by manual proofreading by experts to fix errors. We have developed an algorithm and software library to not only improve the accuracy of the initial automatic segmentation, but also point out the image coordinates where it is likely to have made errors. Our software, called gala (graph-based active learning of agglomeration), improves the state of the art in agglomerative image segmentation. It is implemented in Python and makes extensive use of the scientific Python stack (numpy, scipy, networkx, scikit-learn, scikit-image, and others). We present here the software architecture of the gala library, and discuss several designs that we consider would be generally useful for other segmentation packages. We also discuss the current limitations of the gala library and how we intend to address them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Neuroinformatics
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Connectomics
  • Electron microscopy
  • Image segmentation
  • Machine learning
  • Python

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