A fast image-stitching algorithm for characterization of cracks in large-scale structures

Linlin Wang, Billie F. Spencer, Junjie Li, Pan Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Visual inspection of concrete cracks has been widely used in structural health monitoring (SHM). Capturing highresolution images is an effective method to visualize a complete crack, but it is difficult to show a whole crack from a single high-resolution image. One feasible method is using image stitching technique to stitch several images into a complete crack map. However, the current image stitching method is a computationally intensive process. Numerous images are required to cover large-scale structures with sufficient resolution, this can be computationally prohibitive. To address this problem, an improved image stitching method for crack damage evaluation is proposed, which can quickly stitch the crack images without affecting the quality of the stitching or the resulting images. Rather than first stitching the images together and then determining the crack maps, we propose to first develop the crack maps for the individual images and then stitch them together. The proposed method reduces the number of redundant matching points between the original images by combining their characteristics during image stitching, so it can reduce the calculation time without affecting the quality. Also, the results will not be influenced by the image stitching seam, which can reduce the complexity of the algorithm. Several experimental results are provided in this article to demonstrate that the proposed method can reduce the calculation time without affecting the quality of image stitching and have better robustness than the current method in use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-605
Number of pages13
JournalSmart Structures and Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Concrete crack
  • Crack properties
  • Image stitching
  • Visual inspection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A fast image-stitching algorithm for characterization of cracks in large-scale structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this