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IMAGE ENHANCEMENT

Scott T. Acton, Oklahoma State University Dong Wei, The University of Texas at Austin Alan C. Bovik, The University of Texas at Austin
. We!ster "e#.$, Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Online Co%yright & '((( !y ohn Wiley ) Sons, *nc. All rights reserve#. Article Online +osting Date, Decem!er -., '(((

CONTENTS

TO+ O/ A0T*C12 *3A42 256A5C2325T T2C65*7U2S A++1*CAT*O5S A5D 28T25S*O5S '. 0. C. 4on9ales, 0. 2. Woo#s, Digital Image Processing, 0ea#ing, 3A, A##ison:Wesley, '((;. -. A. Antoniou, Digital Filters: Analysis and Design, 5e< =ork, 3c4ra<:6ill, '(.(. >. . C. 0uss, The Image Processing Handboo , Boca 0aton, /1, C0C +ress, '((;. ?. A. C. Bovik, S. T. Acton, The im%act of or#er statistics on signal %rocessing, *n 6. 5. 5agara@a, +. A. Sen, an# D. /. 3orrison "e#s.$, !tatistical Theory and Applications, 5e< =ork, S%ringer:Berlag, '((C, %%. ';>:'.C. ;. . W. Tukey, E"ploratory Data Analysis, 0ea#ing, 3A, A##ison:Wesley, '(.'. C. A. C. Bovik, T. S. 6uang, D. C. 3unson, r., A generali9ation of me#ian filtering using linear com!inations of or#er statistics, IEEE Trans# Aco$st# !peech !ignal Process#, ASSP31, '>?-:'>;D, '(E>. .. A. C. Bovik, Streaking in 3e#ian /iltere# *mages, IEEE Trans# Aco$st# !peech !ignal Process#, ASSP-35, ?(>:;D>, '(E.. E. O. =li:6ar@a, . Astola, =. 5euvo, Analysis of the %ro%erties of me#ian an# <eighte# me#ian filters using threshol# logic an# stack filter re%resentation. IEEE Trans# Aco$st# !peech !ignal Process#, ASSP-39, >(;:?'D, '(('. (. +.:T. =u, W.:6. 1iao, Weighte# or#er statistic filters : their classification, some %ro%erties an# conversion algorithm. IEEE Trans# !ignal Process#, 42, -C.E:-C(', '((?. 'D. . Serra, Image Analysis and %orphology: Bol. -, The Theoretical Ad&ances# 1on#on, Aca#emic +ress, '(EE. ''. 6. 4. 1ong!otham, D. 2!erly, The W330 filters, A class of ro!ust e#ge enhancers, IEEE Trans# !ignal Process#, 41, 'CED:'CE?, '((>. '-. +. D. Wen#t, 2. . Coyle, 5. C. 4allagher, r., Stack filters, IEEE Trans# Aco$st# !peech !ignal Process#, ASSP-34, E(E:('', '(EC. '>. A. 2. Barner, 4. 0. Arce, +ermutation filters, A class of nonlinear filters !ase# on set %ermutations. IEEE Trans# !ignal Process#, 42, .E-:.(E, '((?. '?. +. +erona, . 3alik, Scale:s%ace an# e#ge #etection using anisotro%ic #iffusion, IEEE Trans# Pattern Anal# %ach# Intell#, PAMI-12, C-(:C>(, '((D. ';. /. Catte et al., *mage selective smoothing an# e#ge #etection !y nonlinear #iffusion, !IA% '# ($mer# Anal#, 29, 'E-:'(>, '((-. 'C. D. 1. Donoho, De:noising !y soft:threshol#ing. IEEE Trans# Inf# Theory, 41, C'>:C-., '((;. '.. 4. Strang, T. 5guyen, Wa&elets and Filter )an s, Wellesley, 3A, Wellesley:Cam!ri#ge

BIBLIOGRAPHY

'E. '(. -D. -'. --.

+ress, '((C. D. Wei, C. S. Burrus, O%timal <avelet threshol#ing for various co#ing schemes, Proc# IEEE Int# *onf# Image Process#, I, C'D:C'>, '((;. D. Wei, A. C. Bovik, 2nhancement of com%resse# images !y o%timal shift:invariant <avelet %acket !asis. '# +is$al *omm$n# Image ,epresent#, in %ress. W. B. +enne!aker, . 1. 3itchell, 'PE- . !till Image Data *ompression !tandard, 5e< =ork, Ban 5ostran# 0einhol#, '((>. D. +. 6F#er "e#.$, Image Analysis in )iology, Boca 0aton, /1, C0C +ress, %%. -(:;>, '(('. A. 3. Tekal%, Digital +ideo Processing, U%%er Sa##le 0iver, 5 , +rentice:6all, '((;.

TOP OF ARTICLE Thirty years ago, the acGuisition an# %rocessing of #igital imagery !elonge# almost entirely in the #omain of military, aca#emic, an# in#ustrial research la!oratories. To#ay, elementary school stu#ents #o<nloa# #igital %ictures from the Worl# Wi#e We!, %rou# %arents store %hotogra%hs on a #igital CD, !usiness executives cut #eals via #igital vi#eo teleconferencing, an# s%orts fans <atch their favorite teams on #igital satellite TB. These #igital images are %ro%erly consi#ere# to !e sam%le# versions of continuous real:<orl# %ictures. Because they are store# an# %rocesse# on #igital com%uters, #igital images are ty%ically #iscrete #omain, #iscrete range signals. These signals can !e conveniently re%resente# an# mani%ulate# as matrices containing the light intensity or color information at each sam%le# %oint. When the acGuire# #igital image is not fit for a %rescri!e# use, image enhancement techniGues may !e use# to mo#ify the image. Accor#ing to 4on9ales an# Woo#s "'$, The %rinci%al o!@ective of enhancement techniGues is to %rocess an image so that the result is more suita!le than the original image for a s%ecific a%%lication. So, the #efinition of image enhancement is a fairly !roa# conce%t that can encom%ass many a%%lications. 3ore usually, ho<ever, the image enhancement %rocess seeks to enhance the a%%arent visual Guality of an image or to em%hasi9e certain image features. The !enefactor of image enhancement either may !e a human o!server or a com%uter vision %rogram %erforming some kin# of higher:level image analysis, such as target #etection or scene un#erstan#ing. The t<o sim%lest metho#s for image enhancement involve sim%le histogram:mo#ifying %oint o%erations or s%atial #igital filtering. 3ore com%lex metho#s involve mo#ifying the image content in another #omain, such as the coefficient #omain of a linear transformation of the image. We <ill consi#er all of these a%%roaches in this article. A <ealth of literature exists on %oint o%erations, linear filters, an# nonlinear filters. *n this #iscussion, <e highlight several of the most im%ortant image enhancement stan#ar#s an# a fe< recent innovations. We <ill !egin <ith the sim%lest.
IMAGE ENHANCEMENT TECHNIQUES

Denote a t<o:#imensional #igital image of gray:level intensities !y I. The image I is or#inarily re%resente# in soft<are accessi!le form as an % H ( matrix containing in#exe# elements I"i, /$, <here D i % : ', D / ( : '. The elements I"i, /$ re%resent sam%les of the image intensities, usually calle# pi"els "picture elements$. /or sim%licity, <e assume that these come from a finite integer:value# range. This is not unreasona!le, since a finite <or#length must !e use# to re%resent the intensities. Ty%ically, the %ixels re%resent o%tical intensity, !ut they may also re%resent other attri!utes of sense# ra#iation, such as ra#ar, electron microgra%hs, x rays, or thermal imagery.
Point O !"#tion$

Often, images o!taine# via %hotogra%hy, #igital %hotogra%hy, flat!e# scanning, or other sensors can !e of lo< Guality #ue to a %oor image contrast or, more generally, from a %oor usage of the availa!le range of %ossi!le gray levels. The images may suffer from overex%osure or from un#erex%osure, as in the man#rill image in /ig. '"a$. *n %erforming image enhancement, <e seek to com%ute %, an enhance#

version of I. The most !asic metho#s of image enhancement involve point operations, <here each %ixel in the enhance# image is com%ute# as a one:to:one function of the corres%on#ing %ixel in the original image, '"i, /$ I fJI"i, /$K. The most common %oint o%eration is the linear contrast stretching o%eration, <hich seeks to maximally utili9e the availa!le gray:scale range. *f a is the minimum intensity value in image I an# b is the maximum, the %oint o%eration for linear contrast stretching is #efine# !y

assuming that the %ixel intensities are !oun#e# !y D I"i, /$ 0 : ', <here 0 is the num!er of availa!le %ixel intensities. The result image % then has maximum gray level 0 : ' an# minimum gray level D, <ith the other gray levels !eing #istri!ute# in:!et<een accor#ing to 2G. "'$. /igure '"!$sho<s the result of linear contrast stretching on /ig. '"a$.

Fi&'"! 1( "a$ Original 3an#rill image "lo< contrast$. "!$ 3an#rill enhance# !y linear contrast stretching. "c$ 3an#rill after histogram eGuali9ation. " . We!ster "e#.$, Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Online +u!lishe# !y ohn Wiley ) Sons, *nc.$ Several %oint o%erations utili9e the image histogram, <hich is a gra%h of the freGuency of occurrence of each gray level in I. The histogram value HI" $ eGuals n only if the image I contains exactly n %ixels <ith gray level . 7ualitatively, an image that has a flat or <ell:#istri!ute# histogram may often strike an excellent !alance !et<een contrast an# %reservation of #etail. 6istogram flattening, also calle# histogram e1$ali2ation in 4on9ales an# Woo#s "'$, may !e use# to transform an image I into an image % <ith a%%roximately flat histogram. This transformation can !e achieve# !y assigning

<here P"i, /$ is a sam%le cumulative %ro!a!ility forme# !y using the histogram of I,

The image in /ig. '"c$ is a histogram:flattene# version of /ig. '"a$. A thir# %oint o%eration, frame averaging, is useful <hen it is %ossi!le to o!tain multi%le images Gi, i I ', , n, of the same scene, each a version of the i#eal image I to <hich #eleterious noise has !een unintentionally a##e#,

<here each noise image Ni is an % H ( matrix of #iscrete ran#om varia!les <ith 9ero mean an# variance -. The noise may arise as electrical noise, noise in a communications channel, thermal noise, or noise in the sense# ra#iation. *f the noise images are not mutually correlate#, then averaging the n frames together <ill form an effective estimate ) of the uncorru%te# image I, <hich <ill have a variance of only -Ln,

This techniGue is only useful, of course, <hen multi%le frames are availa!le of the same scene, <hen the information content !et<een frames remains unchange# "#isallo<ing, for exam%le, motion !et<een frames$, an# <hen the noise content #oes change !et<een frames. 2xam%les arise Guite often, ho<ever. /or exam%le, frame averaging is often use# to enhance synthetic a%erture ra#ar images, confocal microsco%e images, an# electron microgra%hs.
Lin!#" Fi*t!"$

1inear filters o!ey the classical linear su%er%osition %ro%erty as <ith other linear systems foun# in the controls, o%tics, an# electronics areas of electrical engineering "-$. 1inear filters can !e reali9e# !y linear convolution in the s%atial #omain or !y %oint<ise multi%lication of #iscrete /ourier transforms in the freGuency #omain. Thus, linear filters can !e characteri9e# !y their freGuency selectivity an# s%ectrum sha%ing. As <ith ':D signals, -:D #igital linear filters may !e of the lo<:%ass, high:%ass or !an#:%ass variety. 3uch of the current interest in #igital image %rocessing can !e trace# to the re#iscovery of the fast Fo$rier transform "//T$ some >D years ago "it <as kno<n !y 4auss$. The //T com%utes the #iscrete /ourier transform "D/T$ of an ( H ( image <ith a com%utational cost of O"(-log-($, <hereas naive D/T com%utation reGuires (? o%erations. The s%ee#u% affor#e# !y the //T is tremen#ous. This is significant in linear filtering:!ase# image enhancement, since linear filters are im%lemente# via convolution,

<here F is the im%ulse res%onse of the linear filter, G is the original image, an# % is the filtere#, enhance# result. The convolution in 2G. "C$ may !e im%lemente# in the freGuency #omain !y the follo<ing %oint<ise multi%lication "+$ an# inverse /ourier transform "*//T$,

<here FD an# GD are -( H -( 2ero.padded versions of F an# G. By this <e mean that FD"i, /$ I F"i, /$ for D i, / ( : ' an# FD"i, /$ I D other<iseM similarly for GD. The 9ero %a##ing is necessary to eliminate <ra%aroun# effects in the //Ts <hich occur !ecause of the natural %erio#icities that occur in sam%le# #ata. *f G is corru%te# as in 2G. "?$ an# N contains <hite noise <ith 9ero mean, then enhancement means noise:smoothing, <hich is usually accom%lishe# !y a%%lying a lo<:%ass filter of a fairly <i#e !an#<i#th. Ty%ical lo<:%ass filters inclu#e the average filter, the 4aussian filter an# the i#eal lo<:%ass filter. The average filter can !e su%%lie# !y averaging a neigh!orhoo# "an m H m neigh!orhoo#, for exam%le$ of %ixels aroun# -"i, /$ to com%ute '"i, /$. 1ike<ise, average filtering can !e vie<e# as convolving G <ith a !ox:sha%e# kernel F in 2G. ".$. An exam%le of average filtering is sho<n in /ig.

-"a$:"c$. Similarly, a 4aussian:sha%e# kernel F may !e convolve# <ith G to form a smoothe#, less noisy image, as in /ig. -"#$. The 4aussian:sha%e# kernel has the a#vantage of giving more <eight to closer neigh!ors an# is <ell:locali9e# in the freGuency #omain, since the /ourier transform of the 4aussian is also 4aussian:sha%e#. This is im%ortant !ecause it re#uces noise leakage at higher freGuencies. *n or#er to %rovi#e an i#eal cutoff in the freGuency #omain, the //T of GD can !e 9eroe# !eyon# a cutoff freGuency "this is eGuivalent to multi%lying !y a !inary D/T FD in 2G. ".$$. This result, sho<n in /ig. -"e$, reveals the ringing artifacts associate# <ith an i#eal lo<:%ass filter.

Fi&'"! 2( "a$ Original Winston image. "!$ Corru%te# Winston image <ith a##itive 4aussian: #istri!ute# noise " I 'D$. "c$ Average filter result "; H ; <in#o<$. "#$ 4aussian filter result "stan#ar# #eviation I -$. "e$ *#eal lo<:%ass filter result "cutoff I (L?$. "f$ Wavelet shrinkage result. " . We!ster "e#.$, Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Online +u!lishe# !y ohn Wiley ) Sons, *nc.$ 1inear filters are also useful <hen the goal of image enhancement is shar%ening. Often, an image is !lurre# !y a novice %hotogra%her <ho moves the camera or im%ro%erly sets the focus. *mages are also !lurre# !y motion in the scene or !y inherent o%tical %ro!lems, such as <ith the famous 6u!!le telesco%e. *n#ee#, any o%tical system su%%lies contri!utes some !lur to the image. 3otion !lur an# #efocus can also !e mo#ele# as a linear convolution of BNI, <here B, in this case, re%resents linear #istortion. This #istortion is essentially a lo<:%ass %rocessM therefore, a high:%ass filter can !e use# to shar%en or #e!lur the #istorte# image. The most o!vious solution is create an in&erse filter B-1 that exactly reverses the lo<:%ass !lurring of B. The inverse filter is ty%ically #efine# in the freGuency #omain !y mathematically inverting each freGuency com%onent of the /ourier transform of B, creating a high:%ass filter B:'. 1et the com%lex:value# com%onents of the D/T of B !e #enote# !y "$, &$. Then, the com%onents of B:' are given !y

The image can !e shar%ene# !y %oint<ise multi%lying the "9ero:%a##e#$ //T of the !lurre# image !y the "9ero:%a##e#$ //T of B:', then %erforming the inverse //T o%eration, <hich is <hy this enhancement is often calle# decon&ol$tion# *t must !e note# that #ifficulty arises <hen the /ourier transform of B contains 9ero:value# elements. *n this case, a sim%le solution is the pse$do.in&erse filter, <hich leaves the 9eroe# freGuencies as 9eros in the construction of B:'. A challenging %ro!lem is encountere# <hen both linear #istortion "B$ an# a##itive noise "N$ #egra#e the image I,

*f <e a%%ly a lo<:%ass filter F to ameliorate the effects of noise, then <e only further !lur the image. *n contrast, if <e a%%ly an inverse "high:%ass$ filter B:' to #e!lur the image, the high:freGuency com%onents of the !roa#!an# noise N are am%lifie#, resulting in severe corru%tion. This ill:%ose# %ro!lem of conflicting goals can !e attacke# !y a com%romise !et<een lo<:%ass an# high:%ass filtering. The famous Wiener filter %rovi#es such a com%romise Jsee 0uss ">$K. *f re%resents the noise %o<er an# N is <hite noise, then the freGuency res%onse of the Wiener filter is #efine# !y

<here N"$, &$ is the com%lex con@ugate of "$, &$. The Wiener filter attem%ts to !alance the o%erations of #enoising an# #e!lurring o%timally "accor#ing to the mean:sGuare criterion$. As the noise %o<er is #ecrease#, the Wiener filter !ecomes the inverse filter, favoring #e!lurring. 6o<ever, the Wiener filter usually %ro#uces only mo#erately im%rove# results, since the tasks of #econvolution "high:%ass filtering$ an# noise:smoothing "lo<:%ass filtering$ are antagonistic to one another. The com%romise is nearly im%ossi!le to !alance using %urely linear filters.
Non*in!#" Fi*t!"$

5onlinear filters are often #esigne# to reme#y #eficiencies of linear filtering a%%roaches. 5onlinear filters cannot !e im%lemente# !y convolution an# #o not %rovi#e a %re#icta!le mo#ification of image freGuencies. 6o<ever, for this very reason, %o<erful nonlinear filters can %rovi#e %erformance attri!utes not attaina!le !y linear filters, since freGuency se%aration "!et<een image an# noise$ is often not %ossi!le. 5onlinear filters are usually #efine# !y local o%erations on 3indo3s of %ixels. The <in#o<, or structuring element, #efines a local neigh!orhoo# of %ixels such as the <in#o< of %ixels at location "i, /$,

<here , is the <in#o< #efining %ixel coor#inate offsets !elonging to the local neigh!orhoo# of I"i, /$. The out%ut %ixels in the filtere# image % can !e ex%resse# as nonlinear many:to:one functions of the corres%on#ing 3indo3ed sets of %ixels in the image G,

So, the nonlinear filtering o%eration may !e ex%resse# as a function of the image an# the #efine# moving <in#o<, % I f"G, ,$. The <in#o<s come in a variety of sha%es, mostly symmetric an# centere#. The si9e of the <in#o< #etermines the scale of the filtering o%eration. 1arger <in#o<s <ill ten# to %ro#uce more coarse scale re%resentations, eliminating fine #etail.

Order Statistic Filters and Image Morphology

Within the class of nonlinear filters, or#er statistic "OS$ filters encom%ass a large grou% of effective image enhancers. A com%lete taxonomy is given in Bovik an# Acton "?$. The OS filters are !ase# on an arithmetic or#ering of the %ixels in each <in#o< "local neigh!orhoo#$. At %ixel location " i, /$ in the image G, given a <in#o< , of -m O ' %ixels, the set of or#er statistics is #enote# !y

<here -OS"'$"i, /$ -OS"-$"i, /$ -OS"-mO'$"i, /$. These are @ust the original %ixel values covere# !y the <in#o< an# reor#ere# from smallest to largest. +erha%s the most %o%ular nonlinear filter is the me#ian filter ";$. *t is an OS filter an# is im%lemente# !y

assuming a <in#o< si9e of -m O ' %ixels. The me#ian smoothes a##itive <hite noise <hile maintaining e#ge information : a %ro%erty that #ifferentiates it from all linear filters. +articularly effective at eliminating im%ulse noise, the me#ian filter has strong o%timality %ro%erties <hen the noise is 1a%lacian:#istri!ute# "C$. An exam%le of the smoothing a!ility of the me#ian filter is sho<n in /ig. >"a$:"c$. 6ere, a sGuare ; H ; <in#o< <as use#, %reserving e#ges an# removing the im%ulse noise. Care must !e taken <hen #etermining the <in#o< si9e use# <ith the me#ian filter, or streaking an# !lotching artifacts may result ".$.

Fi&'"! 3( "a$ Original Bri#ge image. "!$ Bri#ge image corru%te# <ith -DP salt an# %e%%er noise. "c$ 3e#ian filter result "B I ; H ; sGuare$. "#$ O%en:close filter result "B I > H > sGuare$. " . We!ster "e#.$, Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Online +u!lishe# !y ohn Wiley ) Sons, *nc.$ 3ore general OS filters can !e #escri!e# !y a <eighte# sums of the or#er statistics as follo<s,

<here A is the vector that #etermines the <eight of each OS. Several im%ortant enhancement filters evolve from this frame<ork. The 4.inner mean filter or trimmed mean filter may !e #efine# !y setting A" $ I 'L"-4 O '$ for "m O '$ "m O ' O 4$ an# A" $ I D other<ise. This filter has %roven to !e ro!ust "giving close to o%timal %erformance$ in the %resence of many ty%es of noise. Thus, it is often efficacious <hen the noise is unkno<n. Weighted median filters also make u% a class of effective, ro!ust OS filters "E,($. Other nonlinear filters strongly relate# to OS filters inclu#e morphological filters, <hich mani%ulate image intensity %rofiles an# thus are sha%e:changing filters in these regar#. *mage mor%hology is a ra%i#ly ex%lo#ing area of research in image %rocessing "'D$. Through the concatenation of a series of sim%le OS filters, a <i#e sco%e of %rocessing techniGues emerge. S%ecifically, the !asic filters use# are the erosion of G !y structuring element , #efine# !y

an# the #ilation of G !y , #efine# !y

The erosion of G !y , is often re%resente# !y G ,, <hile the #ilation is re%resente# !y G ,. By themselves, the ero#e an# #ilate o%erators are not useful for image enhancement, !ecause they are !iase# an# #o not %reserve sha%e. 6o<ever, the alternating seGuence of erosions an# #ilations is in#ee# useful. The close filter is constructe# !y %erforming #ilation an# then erosion,

<hile the open filter is erosion follo<e# !y #ilation,

O%en an# close filters are idempotent, so further closings or o%enings yiel# the same result, much like !an#:%ass filters in linear image %rocessing. Although !ias:re#uce#, the o%en filter <ill ten# to remove small !right image regions an# <ill se%arate loosely connecte# regions, <hile the close filter <ill remove #ark s%ots an# <ill link loosely connecte# regions. To emulate the smoothing %ro%erties of the me#ian filter <ith mor%hology, the o%en an# close filters can !e a%%lie# successively. The open.close filter is given !y "G ,$ + ,, an# the close.open filter is given !y "G + ,$ ,. Since o%en:close an# close:o%en filters involve only minimum "ero#e$ an# maximum "#ilate$ calculations, they offer an affor#a!le alternative to the me#ian OS filter, <hich reGuires a more ex%ensive or#ering of each <in#o<e# set of %ixels. 6o<ever, in the %resence of extreme im%ulse noise, such as the salt an# %e%%er

noise sho<n in /ig. >"!$, the o%en:close "or close:o%en$ cannot re%ro#uce the results of the me#ian filter Jsee /ig. >"#$K. 3any variants of the OS an# mor%hological filters have !een a%%lie# successfully to certain image enhancement a%%lications. The 3eighted ma/ority 3ith minim$m range "W330$ filter is a s%ecial version of the OS filter "'.$ <here only a su!set of the or#er statistics are utili9e# "''$. The su!set use# to calculate the result at each %ixel site is the grou% of %ixel values <ith minimum range. The W330 filters have !een sho<n to have s%ecial e#ge enhancing a!ilities an#, un#er s%ecial con#itions, can %rovi#e near %iece<ise constant enhance# images. To im%rove the efficiency of OS filters, stac filters <ere intro#uce# !y Wen#t et al. "'-$. Stack filters ex%loit a stac ing property an# a su%er%osition %ro%erty calle# the threshold decomposition# The filter is initiali9e# !y #ecom%osing the 0:value# signal "!y threshol#ing$ into !inary signals, <hich can !e %rocesse# !y using sim%le Boolean o%erators. Stacking the !inary signals ena!les the formation of the filter out%ut. The filters can !e use# for real:time %rocessing. One limitation of the OS filters is that s%atial information insi#e the filter <in#o< is #iscar#e# <hen rank or#ering is %erforme#. A recent grou% of filters, inclu#ing the *, 4l, an# perm$tation filters, com!ine the s%atial information <ith the rank or#ering of the OS structure "'>$. The com!ination filters can !e sho<n to have an im%rove# a!ility to remove outliers, as com%are# to the stan#ar# OS #esign, !ut have the o!vious #ra<!ack of increase# com%utational com%lexity.
-i..'$ion P"o/!$$!$

A ne<ly #evelo%e# class of nonlinear image enhancement metho#s uses the analogy of heat #iffusion to a#a%tively smooth the image. Anisotropic diff$sion, intro#uce# !y +erona an# 3alik "'?$, encourages intraregion smoothing an# #iscourages interregion smoothing at the image e#ges. The #ecision on local smoothing is !ase# on a diff$sion coefficient <hich is generally a function of the local image gra#ient. Where the gra#ient magnitu#e is relatively lo<, smoothing ensues. Where the gra#ient is high an# an e#ge may exist, smoothing is inhi!ite#. A #iscrete version of the #iffusion eGuation is

<here t is the iteration num!er, is a rate %arameter " 'L?$, an# the su!scri%ts (, !, E, W re%resent the #irection of #iffusion. So, I("i, /$ is the sim%le #ifference "#irectional #erivative$ in the northern #irection Ji.e., I("i, /$ I I"i : ', /$ : I"i, /$K, an# c("i, /$ is the corres%on#ing #iffusion coefficient <hen #iffusing image I an# location "i, /$. One %ossi!le formation of the #iffusion coefficient "for a %articular #irection d$ is given !y

<here is an e#ge threshol#. Unfortunately, 2G. "-'$ <ill %reserve outliers from noise as <ell as e#ges. To circumvent this %ro!lem, a ne< #iffusion coefficient has !een intro#uce# that uses a filtere# image to com%ute the gra#ient terms "';$. /or exam%le, <e can use a 4aussian:filtere# image S 0 I N G" $ to com%ute the gra#ient terms, given a 4aussian:sha%e# kernel <ith stan#ar# #eviation . Then the #iffusion coefficient !ecomes

an# can !e use# in 2G. "-D$. A com%arison !et<een the t<o #iffusion coefficients is sho<n in /ig. ? for an image corru%te# <ith 1a%lacian:#istri!ute# noise. After eight iterations of anisotro%ic #iffusion

using the #iffusion coefficient of 2G. "-'$, shar% #etails are %reserve#, !ut several outliers remain Jsee /ig. ?"c$K. Using the #iffusion coefficient of 2G. "--$, the noise is era#icate# !ut several fine features are !lurre# Jsee /ig. ?"#$K.

Fi&'"! 4( "a$ Original Cameraman image. "!$ Cameraman image corru%te# <ith a##itive 1a%lacian:#istri!ute# noise. "c$ After eight iterations of anisotro%ic #iffusion <ith #iffusion coefficient in 2G. "-'$. "#$ After eight iterations of anisotro%ic #iffusion <ith #iffusion coefficient in 2G. "--$. " . We!ster "e#.$, Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Online +u!lishe# !y ohn Wiley ) Sons, *nc.$ Anisotro%ic #iffusion is a %o<erful enhancement tool, !ut is often limite# !y the num!er of iterations nee#e# to achieve an acce%ta!le result. /urthermore, the #iffusion eGuation is inherently ill:%ose#, lea#ing to #ivergent solutions an# intro#ucing artifacts such as staircasing. 0esearch continues on im%roving the com%utational efficiency an# on #evelo%ing ro!ust <ell:%ose# #iffusion algorithms.
1#2!*!t S3"in4#&!

0ecently, 3a&elet shrin age has !een recogni9e# as a %o<erful tool for signal estimation an# noise re#uction or sim%ly de.noising "'C$. The <avelet transform utili9es scale# an# translate# versions of a fixe# function, <hich is calle# a <avelet, an# is locali9e# in !oth the s%atial an# freGuency #omains "'.$. Such a @oint s%atial:freGuency re%resentation can !e naturally a#a%te# to !oth the glo!al an# local features in images. The <avelet shrinkage estimate is com%ute# via threshol#ing <avelet transform coefficients,

<here DWT an# *DWT stan# for discrete 3a&elet transform an# in&erse discrete 3a&elet transform, res%ectively "'.$, an# fJ K is a transform:#omain %oint o%erator #efine# !y either the hard.thresholding rule

or the soft.thresholding rule

<here the value of the threshol# t is usually #etermine# !y the variance of the noise an# the si9e of the image. The key i#ea of <avelet shrinkage #erives from the a%%roximation %ro%erty of <avelet !ases. The DWT com%resses the image I into a small num!er of DWT coefficients of large magnitu#e, an# it %acks most of the image energy into these coefficients. On the other han#, the DWT coefficients of the noise N have small magnitu#esM that is, the noise energy is s%rea# over a large num!er of coefficients. Therefore, among the DWT coefficients of G, those having large magnitu#es corres%on# to I an# those having small magnitu#es corres%on# to N. A%%arently, threshol#ing the DWT coefficients <ith an a%%ro%riate threshol# removes a large amount of noise an# maintains most image energy. Though the <avelet shrinkage techniGues <ere originally %ro%ose# for the attenuation of image:in#e%en#ent <hite 4aussian noise, they <ork as <ell for the su%%ression of other ty%es of #istortion such as the !locking artifacts in +24:com%resse# images "'E,'($. *n this case, the %ro!lem of enhancing a com%resse# image may !e vie<e# as a #e:noising %ro!lem <here <e regar# the com%ression error as a##itive noise. We a%%lie# the <avelet shrinkage to enhancing the noisy image sho<n in /ig. -"!$ an# sho< the #e:noise# image in /ig. -"f$, from <hich one can clearly see that a large amount of noise has !een remove#, an# most of the shar% image features <ere %reserve# <ithout !lurring or ringing effects. This exam%le in#icates that <avelet shrinkage can significantly out%erform the linear filtering a%%roaches. /igure ; illustrates an exam%le of the enhancement of +24:com%resse# images "-D$. /igure ;"a$ sho<s a %art of the original image. /ig. ;"!$ sho<s the same %art in the +24:com%resse# image <ith a com%ression ratio >-,', <here !locking artifacts are Guite severe #ue to the loss of information in the %rocess of com%ression. /igure ;"c$ reveals the corres%on#ing %art in the enhance# version of /ig. ;"!$, to <hich <e have a%%lie# <avelet shrinkage. One can fin# that the !locking artifacts are greatly su%%resse# an# the image Guality is #ramatically im%rove#.

Fi&'"! 5( "a$ Original 1ena image. "!$ 1ena +24:com%resse# at >-,'. "c$ Wavelet shrinkage a%%lie# to /ig. ;!. " . We!ster "e#.$, Wiley Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Online +u!lishe# !y ohn Wiley ) Sons, *nc.$
Ho5o5o" 3i/ Fi*t!"in&

To this %oint, <e have #escri!e# metho#s that only #eal <ith a##itive noise. *n several imaging scenarios, such as ra#ar an# laser:!ase# imaging, signal:#e%en#ent noise is encountere#. The signal: #e%en#ent noise can !e mo#ele# as a multi%licative %rocess,

for noise values ("i, /$ D " + is again %oint<ise multi%lication$. A%%lying the tra#itional lo<:%ass filters or nonlinear filters is fruitless, since the noise is signal #e%en#ent. But <e can #ecou%le the noise from the signal using a homomor%hic a%%roach. The first ste% of the homomor%hic a%%roach is the a%%lication of a logarithmic %oint o%eration,

Since logJ-"i, /$K I logJ("i, /$K O logJI"i, /$K, <e no< have the familiar a##itive noise %ro!lem of 2G. "?$. Then <e can a%%ly one of the filters #iscusse# a!ove, such as the me#ian filter, an# then transform the image !ack to its original range <ith an ex%onential %oint o%eration.
APPLICATIONS AN- E6TENSIONS

The a%%lications of image enhancement are as numerous as are the sources of images. Different a%%lications, of course, !enefit from enhancement metho#s that are tune# to the statistics of %hysical %rocesses un#erlying the image acGuisition stage an# the noise that is encountere#. /or exam%le, a goo# enca%sulation of image %rocessing for !iological a%%lications is foun# in 6F#er "-'$.With the availa!ility of affor#a!le com%uting engines that can han#le vi#eo %rocessing on:line, the enhancement of time seGuences of images is of gro<ing interest. A vi#eo #ata set may !e <ritten as I"i, /, $, <here re%resents sam%les of time. 3any of the techniGues #iscusse# earlier can !e straightfor<ar#ly exten#e# to vi#eo %rocessing, using three:#imensional //Ts, >:D convolution, >:D <in#o<s, an# >:D <avelet transforms. 6o<ever, a s%ecial %ro%erty of vi#eo seGuences is that they usually contain image motion, <hich is %ro@ecte# from the motion of o!@ects in the scene. The motion often may !e ra%i#, lea#ing to time:aliasing of the moving %arts of the scene. *n such cases, #irect >:D extensions of many of the metho#s #iscusse# a!ove "those that are not %oint o%erations$ <ill often fail, since the %rocesse# vi#eo <ill often exhi!it ghosting artifacts arising from %oor han#ling of the aliasing #ata. This can !e ameliorate# via motion.compensated enhancement techniGues. This generally involves t<o ste%s, motion estimation, <here!y the local image motion is estimate# across the image "!y a matching

techniGue$, an# com%ensation, <here a correction is ma#e to com%ensate for the shift of an o!@ect, !efore su!seGuent %rocessing is accom%lishe#. The to%ic of motion com%ensation is a!ly #iscusse# in Tekal% "--$.