I am optimizing an expression for a paper and not sure if the long sentence express my idea exactly.

The long sentence is

The commonly accepted description is that superpixels are non-overlaping groups of connected pixels which are perceptually homogenous.

In the long sentence, superpixel is a terminology in computer vision. The main idea of the long sentence is from the following short ones.

  1. superpixel is a group of connected pixels.
  2. superpixel is perceptually homogenous.
  3. superpixels are non-overlapping.

The relationship among image, superpixel, and pixel is that

  1. image is a set of pixels.
  2. image can be partitioned into superpixels.
  3. superpixel is a group of pixels.

I am wondering if the long one presents the ideas of the short ones.

  • Superpixels are commonly described as non-overlapping... – Jim Oct 10 '16 at 2:48

I'm pretty sure that I understand the concept but would change your long sentence again to make it slightly less ambiguous. What I would say is:

"The commonly accepted definition of a superpixel is 'a group of connected, perceptually homogenous pixels which does not overlap any other pixel or superpixel'."

Taking the definition back to a single superpixel and including the criterion that it does not overlap with a pixel which is not part of a superpixel as well as the criterion that it does not overlap another superpixel removes the only part of the sentence that I found ambiguous.

Logically the term 'overlap' can't be applied to the relationship between a superpixel and a single pixel (the single pixel is either perceptually homogenous with the ones in superpixel, in which case it would be part of the superpixel, or it isn't) but at the first reading this was not obvious to me.


As you are not quoting directly from source material I would change what you say to "A superpixel can be defined as 'a group of connected, perceptually homogenous pixels which does not overlap any other pixel or superpixel'" so that it you are not implying that the definition is accepted in the form you give.

I would also include references to some or all of the sources you used to develop your definition in an appendix or reference section at the end of your paper.

  • could I remove the single and double quotation marks in your modification and why? As the superpixel has not been defined clearly in the literature, I collect the basic requirements by myself and It is not just quoted from other work, I think the quations is not essential. Am I right? – aban Oct 10 '16 at 2:25
  • @aban The double quotes are there to separate my recommendation from the rest of my post. Don't use them in your paper. However I would either enclose the definition in quotes or place it on a separate line to show where it starts and ends. Also, in the light of what you say about the definition being your own summary, please have a look at my edit to the answer. – BoldBen Oct 11 '16 at 9:23

No. Certain information from the three short sentences is missing in the long sentence, while some information in the long sentence appears to have been supplied from elsewhere ("[the] commonly accepted description").

It's not necessary to worry about whether you are using one or several sentences to communicate an idea. For instance, a more elegant solution in your case may be to use two sentences to express all of the information from the three short sentences. Something like:

  1. "Superpixels are groups of connected pixels which are perceptually homogenous (that is, pixels in a given superpixel have similar color or gray level)."

  2. "Images can be partitioned into superpixels, and superpixels in this partitioning are non-overlapping."

Finally, if your three short sentences are from other sources, a stronger sentence would explicitly cite these sources, rather than using the less-specific "commonly accepted description."

  • I think I have introduced some confusion and I have revised the question a bit. Could you please check the long sentence again? Thanks in advance. – aban Oct 9 '16 at 6:21

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