How can I find a continuous path through the central part of an image?

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I have data from an experimental setup that yields a light "band" in the central part of the image, unless there is a defect (which is what I'm looking for).
This is shown (after contrast adjustment and conversion to B/W) as a dark (0) stripe through a light central region (1) as shown; a model image but the actual scans often look somewhat close to this:
I am trying to find a way to automatically determine if there's a continuous path from the top to the bottom. The answers I've been able to find often involve fitting lines/splines and these paths may not be well suited to that sort of thing since the defects may vary quite a bit and be very tortuous.
Is there any function/method of going through the picture data (typically 256 x 256 pixels) and determining if there is a contiguous series of zeroes going through the "light" (pixel value = 1) region?

Accepted Answer

Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 22 Feb 2014
Simply label the image. If the white is in two parts, the number of regions will be 2 or more:
[labeledImage, numberOfRegions] = bwlabel(binaryImage);
  3 Comments
Scott
Scott on 22 Feb 2014
Once the split (defect) is detected, width is probably next on the list. Being able to overlay some sort of highlight on the path (borders or centerline) would be good for demos too. We could probably work into some error-rejection for too-small paths that result from noise or other fun things.

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More Answers (1)

Alex Taylor
Alex Taylor on 24 Feb 2014
Look at bwdistgeodesic for finding constrained geodesic paths.

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