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The granular appearance of speckle noise in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery makes it very difficult to visually and automatically interpret SAR data. Therefore, speckle reduction is a prerequisite for many SAR image processing tasks. In this paper, we develop a speckle reduction algorithm by fusing the wavelet Bayesian denoising technique with Markov-random-field-based image regularization. Wavelet coefficients are modeled independently and identically by a two-state Gaussian mixture model, while their spatial dependence is characterized by a Markov random field imposed on the hidden state of Gaussian mixtures. The Expectation-Maximization algorithm is used to estimate hyperparameters and specify the mixture model, and the iterated-conditional-modes method is implemented to optimize the state configuration. The noise-free wavelet coefficients are finally estimated by a shrinkage function based on local weighted averaging of the Bayesian estimator. Experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms standard wavelet denoising techniques in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio and the equivalent-number-of-looks measures in most cases. It also achieves better performance than the refined Lee filter.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:40 , Issue: 10 )
Date of Publication: Oct 2002