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Binarization is the process of converting a pixel image to a binary image:

"Neutrophils" by Dr Graham Beards

In the old days binarization was important for sending faxes. These days its still important for things like digitalising text or segmentation.

At first the image is converted into grayscale:

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Then a threshold gets applied:

128 Adaptive Threshold

The threshold can either be set fixed or adaptive using a clustering algorithm.

This algorithm is called Iso Data Algorithm. It first counts the appearance of each tone in the image and tries to find a good center:

Binarisation is the basis of segmentation.