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Image registration is the process by which we determine a transformation that provides the most accurate match between two images. The search for the matching transformation can be automated with the use of a suitable metric, but it can be very time-consuming and tedious. We introduce a registration algorithm that combines a simple yet powerful search strategy based on a stochastic gradient with two similarity measures, correlation and mutual information, together with a wavelet-based multiresolution pyramid. We limit our study to pairs of images, which are misaligned by rotation and/or translation, and present two main results. First, we demonstrate that, in our application, mutual information may be better suited for sub-pixel registration as it produces consistently sharper optimum peaks than correlation. Then, we show that the stochastic gradient search combined with either measure produces accurate results when applied to synthetic data, as well as to multitemporal or multisensor collections of satellite data. Mutual information is generally found to optimize with one-third the number of iterations required by correlation. Results also show that a multiresolution implementation of the algorithm yields significant improvements in terms of both speed and robustness over a single-resolution implementation.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2003