The search for efficient image denoising methods is still a valid challenge at the crossing of functional analysis and statistics. In spite of the sophistication of the recently proposed methods, most algorithms have not yet attained a desirable level of applicability. All show an outstanding performance when the image model corresponds to the algorithm assumptions but fail in general and create artifacts or remove image fine structures. The main focus of this paper is, first, to define a general mathematical and experimental methodology to compare and classify classical image denoising algorithms and, second, to propose a nonlocal means (NL-means) algorithm addressing the preservation of structure in a digital image. The mathematical analysis is based on the analysis of the "method noise," defined as the difference between a digital image and its denoised version. The NL-means algorithm is proven to be asymptotically optimal under a generic statistical image model. The denoising performance of all considered methods are compared in four ways; mathematical: asymptotic order of magnitude of the method noise under regularity assumptions; perceptual-mathematical: the algorithms artifacts and their explanation as a violation of the image model; quantitative experimental: by tables of L 2 distances of the denoised version to the original image. The most powerful evaluation method seems, however, to be the visualization of the method noise on natural images. The more this method noise looks like a real white noise, the better the method.
Abstract. If a physical object has a smooth or piecewise smooth boundary, its images obtained by cameras in varying positions undergo smooth apparent deformations. These deformations are locally well approximated by affine transforms of the image plane.In consequence the solid object recognition problem has often been led back to the computation of affine invariant image local features. Such invariant features could be obtained by normalization methods, but no fully affine normalization method exists for the time being. Even scale invariance is only dealt with rigorously by the SIFT method. By simulating zooms out and normalizing translation and rotation, SIFT is invariant to four out of the six parameters of an affine transform.The method proposed in this paper, Affine-SIFT (ASIFT), simulates all image views obtainable by varying the two camera axis orientation parameters, namely the latitude and the longitude angles, left over by the SIFT method. Then it covers the other four parameters by using the SIFT method itself. The resulting method will be mathematically proved to be fully affine invariant. Against any prognosis, simulating all views depending on the two camera orientation parameters is feasible with no dramatic computational load. A two-resolution scheme further reduces the ASIFT complexity to about twice that of SIFT.A new notion, the transition tilt, measuring the amount of distortion from one view to another is introduced. While an absolute tilt from a frontal to a slanted view exceeding 6 is rare, much higher transition tilts are common when two slanted views of an object are compared (see Fig. 1.1). The attainable transition tilt is measured for each affine image comparison method. The new method permits to reliably identify features that have undergone transition tilts of large magnitude, up to 36 and higher. This fact is substantiated by many experiments which show that ASIFT outperforms significantly the state-of-the-art methods SIFT, MSER, Harris-Affine, and Hessian-Affine.
Neighborhood filters are nonlocal image and movie filters which reduce the noise by averaging similar pixels. The first object of the paper is to present a unified theory of these filters and reliable criteria to compare them to other filter classes. A CCD noise model will be presented justifying the involvement of neighborhood filters. A classification of neighborhood filters will be proposed, including classical image and movie denoising methods and discussing further a recently introduced neighborhood filter, NL-means. In order to compare denoising methods three principles will be discussed. The first principle, "method noise", specifies that only noise must be removed from an image. A second principle will be introduced, "noise to noise", according to which a denoising method must transform a white noise into a white noise. Contrarily to "method noise", this principle, which characterizes artifact-free methods, eliminates any subjectivity and can be checked by mathematical arguments and Fourier analysis. "Noise to noise" will be proven to rule out most denoising methods, with the exception of neighborhood filters. This is why a third and new comparison principle, the "statistical optimality", is needed and will be introduced to compare the performance of all neighborhood filters.The three principles will be applied to compare ten different image and movie denoising methods. It will be first shown that only wavelet thresholding methods and NL-means give an acceptable method noise. Second, that neighborhood filters are the only ones to satisfy the "noise to noise" principle. Third, that among them NL-means is closest to statistical optimality. A particular attention will be paid to the application of the statistical optimality criterion for movie denoising methods. It will be pointed out that current movie denoising methods are motion compensated neighborhood filters. This amounts to say that they are neighborhood filters and that the ideal neighborhood of a pixel is its trajectory. Unfortunately the aperture problem makes it impossible to estimate ground true trajectories. It will be demonstrated that computing trajectories and restricting the neighborhood to them is harmful for denoising purposes and that space-time NL-means preserves more movie details.
We present in this paper a new denoising method called non-local means. The method is based on a simple principle: replacing the color of a pixel with an average of the colors of similar pixels. But the most similar pixels to a given pixel have no reason to be close at all. It is therefore licit to scan a vast portion of the image in search of all the pixels that really resemble the pixel one wants to denoise. The paper presents two implementations of the method and displays some results. Source CodeThe source code (ANSI C), its documentation, and the online demo are accessible at the IPOL web page of this article 1 . Some of the files use algorithms possibly linked to patent . These files are made available for the exclusive aim of serving as scientific tool to verify the soundness and completeness of the algorithm description. Compilation, execution and redistribution of these files may violate exclusive patents rights in certain countries. The situation being different for every country and changing over time, it is your responsibility to determine which patent rights restrictions apply to you before you compile, use, modify, or redistribute these files. The rest of files are distributed under GPL license. A C/C++ implementation is provided. Please see the readme file or the online documentation for details.
We propose a linear-time line segment detector that gives accurate results, a controlled number of false detections, and requires no parameter tuning. This algorithm is tested and compared to state-of-the-art algorithms on a wide set of natural images.
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