When the details of design are as important as gross morphology.


Welcome to the User's Guide for FracLac, V. 2.5

A. Karperien, Charles Sturt University, Australia/Canada, Earth 2007-2012

FracLac is for digital image analysis. Use it to measure difficult to describe morphological features.

Fractal, Lacunarity, Multifractal, and Morphological Analyses

About this Guide

This online user's guide lists questions and answers and offers tutorials about how to install and use FracLac for ImageJ. It also offers some background on fractals and fractal analysis, and a glossary that we hope you will find mighty handy, indeed. (See the Menu on the left for more).

This version of the manual was developed and tested on Windows Vista with a screen resolution of 1600 x 900, running Firefox 12 at full screen. The most recent version of this document is available for download with the plugin at the FracLac website. (see Installation)

About Getting More Help

FracLac and this manual are an ongoing, freely available project with no warranties. If you find a bug, need help, or would like to request a feature, email us and we will be glad to help in any way we can.

About the Software

FracLac is a plugin for ImageJ. It is freely available software developed and maintained by our lab at the School of Community Health, Faculty of Science, Charles Sturt University, Australia. The author of the software and project lead is also the author of this document (me, Audrey Karperien). The basic box counting algorithm was originally modified from ImageJ's box counting algorithm and H. Jelinek's NIH Image plugin, and was further elaborated based on extensive research and development. The convex hull algorithm was provided by Thomas Roy, University of Alberta, Canada. As open source software, with the continuing help of a host of users and collaborators, FracLac has evolved to a suite of fractal analysis and morphology functions.

About the Calculations

Some of the basic calculations underlying the functions in FracLac are outlined in this manual, and detailed calculations are available in the source code and JavaDoc.

  • source code: unzip the FracLac.jar file using the file structure recommended in the zipped file, then open the .java files in a text editor or IDE
  • JavaDoc: download it, generate it from the source code (e.g., using your IDE or the javac command prompt), or request it by email.
    A full description of the basic techniques represented can be found in:
  • T.G. Smith, Jr., G.D. Lange and W.B. Marks, Fractal Methods and Results in Cellular Morphology, J. Neurosci. Methods, 69:1123-126, 1996.
  • E. Fernandez et al., Are neurons multifractals?, J. Neurosci. Methods. 89:151-157, 1999.
  • R.E. Plotnick, R.H. Gardner, and R.V. O'Neil, Lacunarity indices as measures of landscape texture, Landscape Ecology. 8(3):201-211, 1993
  • Innaconne, Geometry in Biological Systems.
  • A. Chhabra and R.V. Jensen, Direct Determination of the f(α) singularity spectrum. Phys. Rev. Lett. 62: 1327, 1989.
  • Costa and Cesar, Shape Analysis and Classification, CRC Press, 2001.
  • G. Landini, P.I. Murray, and G.P. Missonf, Local Connected Fractal Dimensions and Lacunarity Analyses of 60° Fluorescein Angiograms, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. December 1995, 36(13).

About You

You're good enough; you're smart enough; and gosh, darn it, people like you. We hope you enjoy using FracLac. Have fun!

What to Do Now

  1. Install FracLac.
  2. Learn how to use it.
    1. To start right away with just the essentials, try the Quik Start.
    2. To learn how to use FracLac maximally, continue from this page working your way through each topic in the order presented by following the Next and Previous links at the top and bottom of each page.
    3. Explore this manual.
      • To jump to specific topics, click an entry in the Menu.
      • To learn about a term, concept, or equation, search the glossary or click on the images and phrases on the pages of this document as you read.