Image processing

In imaging science, image processing is processing of images using mathematical operations by using any form of signal processing for which the input is an image, a series of images, or a video, such as a photograph or video frame.

the output of image processing may be either an image or a set of characteristics or parameters related to the image. Most image-processing techniques involve treating the image as a two-dimensional signal and applying standard signal-processing techniques to it. Images are also processed as three-dimensional signals where the third-dimension being time or the z-axis.

Image processing usually refers to digital image processing, but optical and analog image processing also are possible. This article is about general techniques that apply to all of them. The acquisition of images (producing the input image in the first place) is referred to as imaging.

Closely related to image processing are computer graphics and computer vision. In computer graphics, images are manually made from physical models of objects, environments, and lighting, instead of being acquired (via imaging devices such as cameras) from natural scenes, as in most animated movies. Computer vision, on the other hand, is often considered high-level image processing out of which a machine/computer/software intends to decipher the physical contents of an image or a sequence of images (e.g., videos or 3D full-body magnetic resonance scans).

In modern sciences and technologies, images also gain much broader scopes due to the ever growing importance of scientific visualization (of often large-scale complex scientific/experimental data). Examples include microarray data in genetic research, or real-time multi-asset portfolio trading in finance.

Digital image processing

Digital image processing is the use of computer algorithms to perform image processing on digital images. As a subcategory or field of digital signal processing, digital image processing has many advantages over analog image processing. It allows a much wider range of algorithms to be applied to the input data and can avoid problems such as the build-up of noise and signal distortion during processing. Since images are defined over two dimensions (perhaps more) digital image processing may be modeled in the form of multidimensional systems.


Applications of Digital Image Processing

Some of the major fields in which digital image processing is widely used are mentioned below

  • Image sharpening and restoration
  • Medical field
  • Remote sensing
  • Transmission and encoding
  • Machine/Robot vision
  • Color processing
  • Pattern recognition
  • Video processing
  • Microscopic Imaging
  • Others


Image sharpening and restoration

Image sharpening and restoration refers here to process images that have been captured from the modern camera to make them a better image or to manipulate those images in way to achieve desired result. It refers to do what Photoshop usually does.

This includes Zooming, blurring , sharpening , gray scale to color conversion, detecting edges and vice versa , Image retrieval and Image recognition.

Medical field

The common applications of DIP in the field of medical is

  • Gamma ray imaging
  • PET scan
  • X Ray Imaging
  • Medical CT
  • UV imaging

UV imaging

In the field of remote sensing , the area of the earth is scanned by a satellite or from a very high ground and then it is analyzed to obtain information about it. One particular application of digital image processing in the field of remote sensing is to detect infrastructure damages caused by an earthquake.

As it takes longer time to grasp damage, even if serious damages are focused on. Since the area effected by the earthquake is sometimes so wide , that it not possible to examine it with human eye in order to estimate damages. Even if it is , then it is very hectic and time consuming procedure. So a solution to this is found in digital image processing. An image of the effected area is captured from the above ground and then it is analyzed to detect the various types of damage done by the earthquake.

The key steps include in the analysis are

  • The extraction of edges
  • Analysis and enhancement of various types of edges

Transmission and encoding

The very first image that has been transmitted over the wire was from London to New York via a submarine cable. The picture that was sent is shown below.

The picture that was sent took three hours to reach from one place to another.

Now just imagine , that today we are able to see live video feed , or live cctv footage from one continent to another with just a delay of seconds. It means that a lot of work has been done in this field too. This field doesnot only focus on transmission , but also on encoding. Many different formats have been developed for high or low bandwith to encode photos and then stream it over the internet or e.t.c.

Machine/Robot vision

Apart form the many challenges that a robot face today , one of the biggest challenge still is to increase the vision of the robot. Make robot able to see things , identify them , identify the hurdles e.t.c. Much work has been contributed by this field and a complete other field of computer vision has been introduced to work on it.

Hurdle detection

Hurdle detection is one of the common task that has been done through image processing, by identifying different type of objects in the image and then calculating the distance between robot and hurdles.

Line follower robot

Most of the robots today work by following the line and thus are called line follower robots. This help a robot to move on its path and perform some tasks. This has also been achieved through image processing.

Color processing

Color processing includes processing of colored images and different color spaces that are used. For example RGB color model , YCbCr, HSV. It also involves studying transmission , storage , and encoding of these color images.

Pattern recognition

Pattern recognition involves study from image processing and from various other fields that includes machine learning ( a branch of artificial intelligence). In pattern recognition , image processing is used for identifying the objects in an images and then machine learning is used to train the system for the change in pattern. Pattern recognition is used in computer aided diagnosis , recognition of handwriting , recognition of images e.t.c

Video processing

A video is nothing but just the very fast movement of pictures. The quality of the video depends on the number of frames/pictures per minute and the quality of each frame being used. Video processing involves noise reduction , detail enhancement , motion detection , frame rate conversion , aspect ratio conversion , color space conversion e.t.c.

3 thoughts on “Image processing

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