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Tina (Tina Is No Acronym) is a software environment for image analysis research. Essentially Tina is a collection of over 150K lines of C code organised into libraries providing the facilities necessary for developing image analysis algorithms. These libraries are organised into two main groups tina-libs and tina-tools. The libraries of tina-libs provide the actual code resource of Tina. There are 7 libraries in tina-libs;
  • sys - basic infrastructure code such as base data types and memory management
  • math - numerical and statistical processing functions
  • image - image processing functions
  • geometry - geometric processing functions
  • file - file and stream I/O
  • medical - medical image analysis routines
  • vision - machine vision routines
The tina-libs libraries provide the base functionality of Tina as a collection of standard C functions. The tina-libs package aims to be a flexible, portable, reuseable collection of algorithms which support a wide variety of image analysis tasks.

The tina-tools package builds on tina-libs to provide functionality necessary to build applications based on the tina-libs. Again this is largely a collection of C code which builds into a set of libraries. However, the code here tends to be more platform specific (Unix model OS running X11). There are 6 library groups in tina-tools (although there are more than 6 libraries);

  • gphx - image and graphic primitive rendering
  • wgdts - mapping of Tina widgets onto popular libraries
  • draw - primitive drawing functions
  • tlbase - basic tools for displaying images etc
  • tlmedical - tools supporting medical image analysis
  • tlvision - tools supporting machine vision
A series of tina-projects are available which build against these libraries to provide applications developed for particular tasks. For details of the medical image analysis and machine vision algorithms available see the documentation pages and the projects pages.


Development of Tina began in 1986 at the Artificial Intelligence Vision Research Unit at the University of Sheffield, UK. Since 1998 Tina has been developed at ISBE, an interdisciplinary 5* rated (highest research rating in UK) university research group at the University of Manchester. Here it has been used to tackle many problems in medical imaging, particularly in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Functionality has been introduced to support this work at both the low-level, such as file readers and writers for popular medical image formats such as DICOM and ANALYZE, and at the higher level including; automated rigid body volume co-registration together with fast reslice; fMRI BOLD signal analysis with motion artifact analysis; single and multi-spectral tissue segmentation; arterial blood flow, tissue perfusion and permeability analysis; semi-automated brain structure segmentation.

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