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The brightness levels in a scene or image, together with the spatial relationships among these levels, comprise the total input and output data available to the digital image processor. Indeed, in any mathematical image processing operation, these are the elements of the image which are being manipulated and which represent the major concern of the image processing professional. However, many other factors affect image brightness relations and can distort or obscure the outcome of any image processing experiment. These factors, which consist of a long chain of transmitters, transducers, signal conditioners and processors, are in aggregate commonly called the image chain. An understanding of the image chain is essential to the design of image processing systems.