Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Vijayan K. Asari

Committee Member

Zia-ur Tahman

Committee Member

Jiang Li

Committee Member

Norou Diawara

Committee Member

Okyay Kaynak


Image enhancement techniques for visibility improvement of color digital images based on wavelet transform domain are investigated in this dissertation research.

In this research, a novel, fast and robust wavelet-based dynamic range compression and local contrast enhancement (WDRC) algorithm to improve the visibility of digital images captured under non-uniform lighting conditions has been developed. A wavelet transform is mainly used for dimensionality reduction such that a dynamic range compression with local contrast enhancement algorithm is applied only to the approximation coefficients which are obtained by low-pass filtering and down-sampling the original intensity image. The normalized approximation coefficients are transformed using a hyperbolic sine curve and the contrast enhancement is realized by tuning the magnitude of the each coefficient with respect to surrounding coefficients. The transformed coefficients are then de-normalized to their original range. The detail coefficients are also modified to prevent edge deformation. The inverse wavelet transform is carried out resulting in a lower dynamic range and contrast enhanced intensity image. A color restoration process based on the relationship between spectral bands and the luminance of the original image is applied to convert the enhanced intensity image back to a color image. Although the colors of the enhanced images produced by the proposed algorithm are consistent with the colors of the original image, the proposed algorithm fails to produce color constant results for some "pathological" scenes that have very strong spectral characteristics in a single band. The linear color restoration process is the main reason for this drawback. Hence, a different approach is required for tackling the color constancy problem. The illuminant is modeled having an effect on the image histogram as a linear shift and adjust the image histogram to discount the illuminant. The WDRC algorithm is then applied with a slight modification, i.e. instead of using a linear color restoration, a non-linear color restoration process employing the spectral context relationships of the original image is applied. The proposed technique solves the color constancy issue and the overall enhancement algorithm provides attractive results improving visibility even for scenes with near-zero visibility conditions.

In this research, a new wavelet-based image interpolation technique that can be used for improving the visibility of tiny features in an image is presented. In wavelet domain interpolation techniques, the input image is usually treated as the low-pass filtered subbands of an unknown wavelet-transformed high-resolution (HR) image, and then the unknown high-resolution image is produced by estimating the wavelet coefficients of the high-pass filtered subbands. The same approach is used to obtain an initial estimate of the high-resolution image by zero filling the high-pass filtered subbands. Detail coefficients are estimated via feeding this initial estimate to an undecimated wavelet transform (UWT). Taking an inverse transform after replacing the approximation coefficients of the UWT with initially estimated HR image, results in the final interpolated image.

Experimental results of the proposed algorithms proved their superiority over the state-of-the-art enhancement and interpolation techniques.


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