Digital Image Processing G.SWETHA(EC E IIIRD YEAR) NIKHIL GUPTA(EC E IIIRD YEAR) Department of Electronics and C ommunications ni firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Abstract: In the age of multimedia images have become an integrated part of human life. No other medium can offer the expressive power of the image or a video sequence, because images contain an enormous amount of information. Drawing or photo of a complex technical would dramatically change the clarification and simplification of the task of description. At a glance one can grasp much more from an image than from a descriptive text. Clearly, images contain and convey information in the form, which human beings can easily process. Visual system allows to handle an enormous amount of data in a very short time. It is now possible to integrate anything into an image using image processing techniques. Image processing has taken rapid strides since the invention of computer. Image processing is no longer confined to large industries and large scientific labs. One can sit at his own desk in front of his personal computer and process images. This paper aims in gaining the basic concept involved in digital image processing without much of mathematics involved. Starting from the definition of image it briefly covers the structure of digital image, steps and tools involved in digital image processing and applications.
What are Images?
Images are signals with special characteristics. They are a measure of a parameter over space (distance), while most signals are a measure of a parameter over tim e. For example, standard visual images result from light intensity variations across a two-dimensional plane. However, light is not the only parameter used in scientific imaging. For example, an image can be formed of the temperature of an integrated circuit, blood velocity in a patient's artery, x-ray emission from a distant galaxy, ground motion during an earthquake, etc. These exotic images are usually converted into conventional pictures (i.e., light images), so that they can be evaluated by the human eye. They contain a great deal of information. For example, more than 10 megabytes required to store one second of television video. This is more than a thousand times greater than for a similar length voice signal. The final judge of quality is often a subjective human evaluation, rather than an objective criterion. These special characteristics have made image processing a distinct subgroup within Digital Signal Processing (DSP).
Digital Image Structure:
A digital image a [ m ,n ] described in a 2D discrete space is derived from an analog image a(x , y) in a 2D continuous space through a sampling process that is frequently referred to as digitization. The 2D continuous image a(x , y) is divided into N rows and M columns. The intersection of a row and a column is termed a pixel . Each pixel in the example shown is a single number between 0 and 255. To display the analog image as a digital image , the value of each pixel is converted into a grayscale , where 0 is black, 255 is white, and the intermediate values are shades of gray. C olor is added to digital images by using three numbers for each pixel, representing the intensity of the three primary colors: red, green and blue. Mixing these three colors generates all possible colors that the human eye can perceive. A single byte is frequently used to store each of the color intensities, allowing the image to capture a total of 256×256×256 = 16.8 million different colors.
Digital Image Processing
Digital image processing is electronic data processing on a 2-D array of numbers. The array is a numeric representation of an image . An image processing system consists of a source of image data, a processing element and a destination for the processed results.
Steps and Tools : After obtaining the digitized image by the process of digitization the image is sent for image processing. Image processing operations can be roughly divided into three major categories, Image C ompression , Image Enhancement and Restoration , and Measurement Extraction .
Image Compression: As a result of digitization of an average size document at a medium resolution and color depth, a huge file of average size of about 20-50MB is produced. The quality of such an image is high, but the transmission time, the computational burden and the hardware requirements are simply enormous. Also the bandwidth of the transmission line required to transmit the information would be very large. Thus image compression is necessary. Some of the major compression techniques which can be used when transmitting or storing digital images are GIF ( Graphics Interchage Format ), PNG ( Portable Network Graphics ), JBIG ( Joint Bilevel Group ) and JPEG ( Joint Photographers Expert Group ). Various new techniques are also being devised for quick transmission and efficient compression.
Image Enhancement and Restoration: The following examples of Image Enhancement and Measurement Extraction all operate on 256 gray-scale images. These operations can be extended to operate on color images.
The image at the left has been corrupted by noise during the digitization process. The 'clean' image at the right was obtained by applying a median filter to the image.
An image with poor contrast, such as the one at the left can be improved by adjusting the image histogram to produce the image shown at the right.
The image at the top left of the following figure has a corrugated effect due to a fault in the acquisition process. This can be removed by doing a 2-dimensional Fast-Fourier Transform on the image (top right of the figure), removing the bright spots (bottom left of the following figure), and finally doing an inverse Fast Fourier Transform to return to the original image without the corrugated background bottom right of the figure).
An image which has been captured in poor lighting conditions, and shows a continuous change in the background brightness across the image (top left of the following figure) can be corrected using the following procedure. First remove the foreground objects by applying a 25 by 25 grayscale dilation operation (top right of the figure). Then subtract the original image from the background image (bottom left of the figure). Finally invert the colors and improve the contrast by adjusting the image histogram (bottom right of the figure) .
Measurement Extraction : The example below demonstrates how one could go about extracting measurements from an image. The image at the top left of the following figure shows some objects. The aim is to extract information about the distribution of the sizes (visible areas) of the objects. The first step involves segmenting the image to separate the objects of interest from the background. This usually involves thresholding the image, which is done by setting the values of pixels above a certain threshold value to white, and all the others to black (top right of the figure). Because the objects touch, thresholding at a level which includes the full surface of all the objects does not show separate objects. This problem is solved by performing a watershed separation on the image (lower left of the figure). The image at the lower right of the figure shows the result of performing a logical AND of the two images at the left of the figure. This shows the effect that the watershed separation has on touching objects in the original image. Finally, some measurements can be extracted from the image. The histogram shows the distribution of the area measurements. The areas were calculated based on the assumption that the width of the image is 28 cm.
C ertain mathematical tools are central to the processing of digital images. They are convolution, fourier analysis, and statistical descriptions and manipulative tools such as chain codes and run codes. Out of all the above the two most important techniques are: convolution and Fourier analysis . C onvolution is the more important of these two, since images have their information encoded in the spatial domain rather than the frequency domain. Linear filtering can improve images in many ways: sharpening the edges of objects, reducing random noise, correcting for unequal illumination, deconvolution to correct for blur and motion, etc. These procedures are carried out by convolving the original image with an appropriate filter kernel, producing the filtered image. A serious problem with image convolution is the enormous number of calculations that need to be performed, often resulting in unacceptably long execution times. Two important techniques for reducing the execution time are convolution by separability and FFT convolution .
Applications of digital image processing in general are infinite. There are hardly any areas where image processing is not necessary. However major applications in medicine, space are discussed briefly:
Medical: In 1895, Wilhelm C onrad Röntgen discovered that x-rays could pass through substantial amounts of matter. Medicine was revolutionized by the ability to look inside the living human body. Medical x-ray systems spread throughout the world in only a few years. In spite of its obvious success, medical x-ray imaging was limited by four problems until DSP and related techniques came along in the 1970s. First, overlapping structures in the body can hide behind each other. For example, portions of the heart might not be visible behind the ribs. Second, it is not always possible to distinguish between similar tissues. For example, it may be able to separate bone from soft tissue, but not distinguish a tumor from the liver. Third, x-ray images show anatom y, the body's structure, and not physiolog y, the body's operation. The x-ray image of a living person looks exactly like the x-ray image of a dead one! Fourth, x-ray exposure can cause cancer, requiring it to be used sparingly and only with proper justification. The problem of overlapping structures was solved in 1971 with the introduction of the first computed tomography scanner (formerly called computed axial tomography, or CAT scanner). C omputed tomography (C T) is a classic example of Digital Signal Processing. X-rays from many directions are passed through the section of the patient's body being examined. Instead of simply forming images with the detected x-rays, the signals are converted into digital data and stored in a computer. The information is then used to calculate images that appear to be slices through the bod y. These images show much greater detail than conventional techniques, allowing significantly better diagnosis and treatment. The last three x-ray problems have been solved by using penetrating energy other than x-rays, such as radio and sound waves. DSP plays a key role in all these techniques. For example, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields in conjunction with radio waves to probe the interior of the human body. Properly adjusting the strength and frequency of the fields cause the atomic nuclei in a localized region of the body to resonate between quantum energy states. This resonance results in the emission of a secondary radio wave, detected with an antenna placed near the body. The strength and other characteristics of this detected signal provide information about the localized region in resonance. Adjustment of the magnetic field allows the resonance region to be scanned throughout the body, mapping the internal structure. This information is usually presented as images, just as in computed tomography. Besides providing excellent discrimination between different types of soft tissue, MRI can provide information about physiology, such as blood flow through arteries. MRI relies totally on Digital Signal Processing techniques, and could not be implemented without them.
Space: Sometimes, we face a situation so as to make the most out of a bad picture. This is frequently the case with images taken from unmanned satellites and space exploration vehicles. DIP can improve the quality of images taken under extremely unfavorable conditions in several ways: brightness and contrast adjustment, edge detection, noise reduction, focus adjustment, motion blur reduction, etc. Images that have spatial distortion, such as encountered when a flat image is taken of a spherical planet, can also be warped into a correct representation. Many individual images can also be combined into a single database, allowing the information to be displayed in unique ways. For example, a video sequence simulating an aerial flight over the surface of a distant planet.
Commercial Imaging Products: The large information content in images is a problem for systems sold in mass quantity to the general public. C ommercial systems must be chea p, and this doesn't mesh well with large memories and high data transfer rates. One answer to this dilemma is image compressio n. Just as with voice signals, images contain a tremendous amount of redundant information, and can be run through algorithms that reduce the number of bits needed to represent them. Television and other moving pictures are especially suitable for compression, since most of the image remain the same from frame-to-frame. C ommercial imaging products that take advantage of this technology include: video telephones, computer programs that display moving pictures, and digital television.
With image processing growing in varied disciplines such as remote sensing and biomedical research, the makers of scientific software are making sure their packages include the ability to handle image tasks. Image-processing applications tend to be so specific to individual users that it hasn't been worthwhile for any company to develop one-size-fits-all applications. Many image processing software are being released into the market with much more easy-to-use tools, so it's allowing more people to attempt to do vision-processing tasks that they wouldn't even have tried before. There is an increasing demand for 3D-image processing and for dealing with images taken in dozens or hundreds of spectral bands. As computers get faster and imaging equipment improves, undergraduates are being taught how to incorporate it into their work. No doubt, image processing in software is following a track similar to what happened with digital signal processing a decade ago.
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