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Image Thumbnails That Represent Blur and Noise

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4 Author(s)
Samadani, R. ; Multimedia Commun. & Network Lab., Hewlett-Packard Labs., Palo Alto, CA, USA ; Mauer, T.A. ; Berfanger, D.M. ; Clark, J.H.

The information about the blur and noise of an original image is lost when a standard image thumbnail is generated by filtering and subsampling. Image browsing becomes difficult since the standard thumbnails do not distinguish between high-quality and low-quality originals. In this paper, an efficient algorithm with a blur-generating component and a noise-generating component preserves the local blur and the noise of the originals. The local blur is rapidly estimated using a scale-space expansion of the standard thumbnail and subsequently used to apply a space-varying blur to the thumbnail. The noise is estimated and rendered by using multirate signal transformations that allow most of the processing to occur at the lower spatial sampling rate of the thumbnail. The new thumbnails provide a quick, natural way for users to identify images of good quality. A subjective evaluation shows the new thumbnails are more representative of their originals for blurry images. The noise generating component improves the results for noisy images, but degrades the results for textured images. The blur generating component of the new thumbnails may always be used to advantage. The decision to use the noise generating component of the new thumbnails should be based on testing with the particular image mix expected for the application.

Published in:

Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 2 )