Digital image enhancement methods for multimedia technology

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Chapter 1

1.1 Introduction

In today’s communications network s multimedia is a growing field. There are increasing demands on incorporating visual aspect to other modes of communications. It is therefore unable to be avoided to have situations in which the video and transmitted images being corrupted or degraded in their perceptual quality by variety of ways.

1.2Digital Image Processing

An image is defined as two- dimensional function, f(x,y), where x,y are plane coordinates and the amplitude of ‘f’ at any pair of coordinates (x,y) is called the intensity or gray level of the image. When x, y and the intensity values of f are all finite and discrete quantities, we call the image a digital image. To processing the image by means of computer algorithms is called as digital image processing. As compared to analog image processing, digital image processing has many advantages. It can avoid problems such as signal distortion, image degradation and build-up of noise during processing.

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1.2 Image Restoration and Enhancement Methods:

Now day’s digital images have covered the complete world. Images are acquired by photo electronic or photochemical methods. The sensing devices tend to reduce a quality of the digital images by introducing the noise and blur due to motion or misfocus of camera.

One of the first applications of digital images was in the news paper industry, when pictures were sent by submarine cable between New York and London. Introduction of cable picture transmission system in the early 1920’s reduced the time required to transport a picture across Atlantic from more than a week to less than three hours.

Some of the initial problems in improving the visual quality of these early digital pictures were related to the selection of printing procedures and distribution of intensity levels.

Digital image processing techniques began in the late 1960s and early 1970s to be used in medical imaging, remote Earth resources observations and astronomy.

Tomography was invented independently by Sir Godfrey N. Hounsfield and Professor Allan M.Cormack who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in medicine for their invention. But, X-rays were discovered in 1985 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. Geographers use the similar technique to study the pollution patterns from aerial and satellite imagery. Image enhancement and restoration procedures are used to process the degraded images of unrecoverable objects or experimental results too expensive to duplicate. The use of a gray level transformation which transforms a given empirical distribution function of gray level values in an image into a uniform distribution has been used as an image enhancement as well as for a normalization procedure.( I. Pitas)

Image enhancement refers to increase the image quality by sharpening certain image features (edges, boundaries and contrast) and reducing the noise.

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