Objective Comparison of Particle Tracking Methods

N. Chenouard, I. Smal, F. de Chaumont, M. Maška, I. F. Sbalzarini, Y. Gong, J. Cardinale, C. Carthel, S. Coraluppi, M. Winter, A. R. Cohen, W. J. Godinez, K. Rohr, Y. Kalaidzidis, L. Liang, J. Duncan, H. Shen, Y. Xu, K. E. G. Magnusson, J. Jaldén, H. M. Blau, P. Paul-Gilloteaux, P. Roudot, C. Kervrann, F. Waharte, J. Y. Tinevez, S. L. Shorte, J. Willemse, K. Celler, G. P. van Wezel, H. W. Dan, Y. S. Tsai, C. Ortiz de Solórzano, J. C. Olivo-Marin, E. Meijering

Nature Methods, vol. 11, no. 3, March 2014, pp. 281-289

DOI PubMed

Particle tracking is of key importance for quantitative analysis of intracellular dynamic processes from time-lapse microscopy image data. Since manually detecting and following large numbers of individual particles is not feasible, automated computational methods have been developed for these tasks by many groups. Aiming to perform an objective comparison of methods, we gathered the community and organized, for the first time, an open competition, in which participating teams applied their own methods independently to a commonly defined data set including diverse scenarios. Performance was assessed using commonly defined measures. While no single method performed best across all scenarios, the results revealed clear differences between the various approaches, leading to important practical conclusions for users and developers.


The cover of the journal issue shows an artistic impression of tracking results of various particle tracking methods that participated in the challenge.

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