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On the origin of the bilateral filter and ways to improve it

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1 Author(s)
Elad, M. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Stanford Univ., CA, USA

Additive noise removal from a given signal is an important problem in signal processing. Among the most appealing aspects of this field are the ability to refer it to a well-established theory, and the fact that the proposed algorithms in this field are efficient and practical. Adaptive methods based on anisotropic diffusion (AD), weighted least squares (WLS), and robust estimation (RE) were proposed as iterative locally adaptive machines for noise removal. Tomasi and Manduchi (see Proc. 6th Int. Conf. Computer Vision, New Delhi, India, p.839-46, 1998) proposed an alternative noniterative bilateral filter for removing noise from images. This filter was shown to give similar and possibly better results to the ones obtained by iterative approaches. However, the bilateral filter was proposed as an intuitive tool without theoretical connection to the classical approaches. We propose such a bridge, and show that the bilateral filter also emerges from the Bayesian approach, as a single iteration of some well-known iterative algorithm. Based on this observation, we also show how the bilateral filter can be improved and extended to treat more general reconstruction problems

Published in:

Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 10 )