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This paper presents an edge-directed image interpolation algorithm. In the proposed algorithm, the edge directions are implicitly estimated with a statistical-based approach. In opposite to explicit edge directions, the local edge directions are indicated by length-16 weighting vectors. Implicitly, the weighting vectors are used to formulate geometric regularity (GR) constraint (smoothness along edges and sharpness across edges) and the GR constraint is imposed on the interpolated image through the Markov random field (MRF) model. Furthermore, under the maximum a posteriori-MRF framework, the desired interpolated image corresponds to the minimal energy state of a 2-D random field given the low-resolution image. Simulated annealing methods are used to search for the minimal energy state from the state space. To lower the computational complexity of MRF, a single-pass implementation is designed, which performs nearly as well as the iterative optimization. Simulation results show that the proposed MRF model-based edge-directed interpolation method produces edges with strong geometric regularity. Compared to traditional methods and other edge-directed interpolation methods, the proposed method improves the subjective quality of the interpolated edges while maintaining a high PSNR level.
Date of Publication: July 2008