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Evaluating registrations of serial sections with distortions of the ground truths

Registration of histological serial sections is a challenging task. Serial sections exhibit distortions and damage from sectioning. Missing information on how the tissue looked before cutting makes a realistic validation of 2D registrations extremely difficult. This work proposes methods for ground-truth-based evaluation of registrations. Firstly, we present a methodology to generate test data for registrations. We distort an innately registered image stack in the manner similar to the cutting distortion of serial sections. Test cases are generated from existing 3D data sets, thus the ground truth is known. Secondly, our test case generation premises evaluation of the registrations with known ground truths. Our methodology for such an evaluation technique distinguishes this work from other approaches. Both under- and over-registration become evident in our evaluations. We also survey existing validation efforts. We present a full-series evaluation across six different registration methods applied to our distorted 3D data sets of animal lungs. Our distorted and ground truth data sets are made publicly available.

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