Basics of Circle Detection
A circle can be described by the following equation:
To detect circles, we can fix point (x, y). Now we need to find 3 parameters: a, b and r. So the problem is in the 3D search space. To find possible circles, the algorithm uses a three-dimensional matrix called the Accumulator Matrix to store the potential values of a, b, and r. The value of a (center x coordinate) can range from 1 to rows, b (center y coordinate) can range from 1 to columns, and r can range from 1 to maxRadius = ,
Below are the steps of the algorithm.
HoughCircles function in OpenCV has the following parameters, which can be changed according to the image.
Detection Method: OpenCV has an advanced implementation, HOUGH_GRADIENT, which uses gradient of the edges instead of filling up the entire 3D accumulator matrix, thereby speeding up the process.
dp: This is the ratio of the resolution of original image to the accumulator matrix.
minDist: This parameter controls the minimum distance between detected circles.
Param1: Canny edge detection requires two parameters – minVal and maxVal. Param1 is the higher threshold of the two. The second one is set as Param1 / 2.
Param2: This is the accumulator threshold for the candidate detected circles. By increasing this threshold value, we can ensure that only the best circles, corresponding to larger accumulator values, are returned.
minRadius: Minimum circle radius.
maxRadius: Maximum circle radius.
Below is the code for finding circles using OpenCV in the image above.