ANNIE is a neural network that removes noise and sharpens edges in digital images. For noise removal, ANNIE makes a weighted average of the values of the pixels over a certain neighborhood. For edge sharpening, ANNIE detects edges and applies a correction around them. Although averaging is a simple operation and needs only a two-layer neural network, detecting edges is more complex and demands several hidden layers. Based on Marr's theory of natural vision, the edge detection method uses zero-crossings in the image filtered by the ∇2G operator (where ∇2 is the Laplacian operator and G stands for a two- dimensional Gaussian distribution), and uses two channels with different spatial frequencies. Edge detectors are tuned for vertical and horizontal orientations. Lateral inhibition implemented through one-step recursion achieves both edge relaxation and correlation of the two channels. Training by means of the quickprop algorithm determines the shapes of the weighted averaging filter and the edge correction filters, and the rules for edge relaxation and channel interaction. ANNIE uses pairs of pictures as training patterns: one picture is a reference for the output of the network and the same picture deteriorated by noise and/or blur is the input of the network.
T. A. Marsland,
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