Insight Segmentation And Registration Toolkit
ITK is a cross-platform, open-source application development framework widely used for the development of image segmentation and image registration programs. Segmentation is the process of identifying and classifying data found in a digitally sampled representation. Typically the sampled representation is an image acquired from such medical instrumentation as CT or MRI scanners. Registration is the task of aligning or developing correspondences between data. For example, in the medical environment, a CT scan may be aligned with an MRI scan in order to combine the information contained in both.
ITK was developed with funding from the National Library of Medicine (U.S.) as an open resource of algorithms for analyzing the images of the Visible Human Project. ITK stands for The Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit. The toolkit provides leading-edge segmentation and registration algorithms in two, three, and more dimensions. ITK uses the CMake build environment to manage the configuration process. The software is implemented in C++ and it is wrapped for Tcl, Python (using CableSwig) and Java. This enables developers to create software using a variety of programming languages. ITK's C++ implementation style is referred to as generic programming (i.e., using templated code). Such C++ templating means that the code is highly efficient, and that many software problems are discovered at compile-time, rather than at run-time during program execution.
Because ITK is an open-source project, developers from around the world can use, debug, maintain, and extend the software. ITK uses a model of software development referred to as extreme programming. Extreme programming collapses the usual software creation methodology into a simultaneous and iterative process of design-implement-test-release. The key features of extreme programming are communication and testing. Communication among the members of the ITK community is what helps manage the rapid evolution of the software. Testing is what keeps the software stable. In ITK, an extensive testing process (using CDash) is in place that measures the quality on a daily basis. The ITK Testing Dashboard is posted continuously reflecting the quality of the software.
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