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14 September 2016 Pattern recognition and feature extraction with an optical Hough transform
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Pattern recognition and localization along with feature extraction are image processing applications of great interest in defect inspection and robot vision among others. In comparison to purely digital methods, the attractiveness of optical processors for pattern recognition lies in their highly parallel operation and real-time processing capability. This work presents an optical implementation of the generalized Hough transform (GHT), a well-established technique for the recognition of geometrical features in binary images. Detection of a geometric feature under the GHT is accomplished by mapping the original image to an accumulator space; the large computational requirements for this mapping make the optical implementation an attractive alternative to digital- only methods. Starting from the integral representation of the GHT, it is possible to device an optical setup where the transformation is obtained, and the size and orientation parameters can be controlled, allowing for dynamic scale and orientation-variant pattern recognition. A compact system for the above purposes results from the use of an electrically tunable lens for scale control and a rotating pupil mask for orientation variation, implemented on a high-contrast spatial light modulator (SLM). Real-time (as limited by the frame rate of the device used to capture the GHT) can also be achieved, allowing for the processing of video sequences. Besides, by thresholding of the GHT (with the aid of another SLM) and inverse transforming (which is optically achieved in the incoherent system under appropriate focusing setting), the previously detected features of interest can be extracted.
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Ariel Fernández "Pattern recognition and feature extraction with an optical Hough transform", Proc. SPIE 9970, Optics and Photonics for Information Processing X, 99700N (14 September 2016);

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