The separation of coal and gangue is an important process of the coal preparation technology. The conventional way of manual selection and separation of gangue from the raw coal can be replaced by computer vision technology. In the literature, research on image recognition and classification of coal and gangue is mainly based on the grayscale and texture features of the coal and gangue. However, there are few studies on characteristics of coal and gangue from the perspective of their outline differences. Therefore, the multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MFDFA) method is introduced in this paper to extract the geometric features of coal and gangue. Firstly, the outline curves of coal and gangue in polar coordinates are detected and achieved along the centroid, thereby the multifractal characteristics of the series are analyzed and compared. Subsequently, the modified local singular spectrum widths
of the outline curve series are extracted as the characteristic variables of the coal and gangue for pattern recognition. Finally, the extracted geometric features by MFDFA combined with the grayscale and texture features of the images are compared with other methods, indicating that the recognition rate of coal gangue images can be increased by introducing the geometric features.
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