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Differential morphology and image processing

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1 Author(s)
Maragos, P. ; Sch. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA

Image processing via mathematical morphology has traditionally used geometry to intuitively understand morphological signal operators and set or lattice algebra to analyze them in the space domain. We provide a unified view and analytic tools for morphological image processing that is based on ideas from differential calculus and dynamical systems. This includes ideas on using partial differential or difference equations (PDEs) to model distance propagation or nonlinear multiscale processes in images. We briefly review some nonlinear difference equations that implement discrete distance transforms and relate them to numerical solutions of the eikonal equation of optics. We also review some nonlinear PDEs that model the evolution of multiscale morphological operators and use morphological derivatives. Among the new ideas presented, we develop some general 2-D max/min-sum difference equations that model the space dynamics of 2-D morphological systems (including the distance computations) and some nonlinear signal transforms, called slope transforms, that can analyze these systems in a transform domain in ways conceptually similar to the application of Fourier transforms to linear systems. Thus, distance transforms are shown to be bandpass slope filters. We view the analysis of the multiscale morphological PDEs and of the eikonal PDE solved via weighted distance transforms as a unified area in nonlinear image processing, which we call differential morphology, and briefly discuss its potential applications to image processing and computer vision

Published in:

Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 1996

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