16 December 2004 Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques
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Abstract
Atmospheric scattering causes significant degradation in the quality of video images, particularly when imaging over long distances. The principle problem is the reduction in contrast due to scattered light. It is known that when the scattering particles are not too large compared with the imaging wavelength (i.e. Mie scattering) then high spatial resolution information may be contained within a low-contrast image. Unfortunately this information is not easily perceived by a human observer, particularly when using a standard video monitor. A secondary problem is the difficulty of achieving a sharp focus since automatic focus techniques tend to fail in such conditions. Recently several commercial colour video processing systems have become available. These systems use various techniques to improve image quality in low contrast conditions whilst retaining colour content. These systems produce improvements in subjective image quality in some situations, particularly in conditions of haze and light fog. There is also some evidence that video enhancement leads to improved ATR performance when used as a pre-processing stage. Psychological literature indicates that low contrast levels generally lead to a reduction in the performance of human observers in carrying out simple visual tasks. The aim of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study on object recognition in adverse viewing conditions. The chosen visual task was vehicle number plate recognition at long ranges (500 m and beyond). Two different commercial video enhancement systems are evaluated using the same protocol. The results show an increase in effective range with some differences between the different enhancement systems.
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Lucy Sara Whitman, Lucy Sara Whitman, Colin Lewis, Colin Lewis, John Peter Oakley, John Peter Oakley, } "Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques", Proc. SPIE 5616, Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism and Crime Fighting, (16 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.581827; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.581827
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