X-ray image visualized in real-time plays an important role in clinical applications. The real-time system design requires that images with the highest perceptual quality be acquired while minimizing the x-ray dose to the patient, which can result in severe noise that must be reduced. The approach based on the wavelet transform has been widely used for noise reduction. However, by removing noise, high frequency components belonging to edges that hold important structural information of an image are also removed, which leads to blurring the features. This paper presents a new method of x-ray image denoising based on fast lifting wavelet thresholding for general noise reduction and spatial filtering for further denoising by using a derivative model to preserve edges. General denoising is achieved by estimating the level of the contaminating noise and employing an adaptive thresholding scheme with variance analysis. The soft thresholding scheme is to remove the overall noise including that attached to edges. A new edge identification method of using approximation of spatial gradient at each pixel location is developed together with a spatial filter to smooth noise in the homogeneous areas but preserve important structures. Fine noise reduction is only applied to the non-edge parts, such that edges are preserved and enhanced. Experimental results demonstrate that the method performs well both visually and in terms of quantitative performance measures for clinical x-ray images contaminated by natural and artificial noise. The proposed algorithm with fast computation and low complexity provides a potential solution for real-time applications.
Transmitting digital images via mobile device is often subject to bandwidth which are incompatible with high data rates. Embedded coding for progressive image transmission has recently gained popularity in image compression community. However, current progressive wavelet-based image coders tend to send information on the lowest-frequency wavelet coefficients first. At very low bit rates, images compressed are therefore dominated by low frequency information, where high frequency components belonging to edges are lost leading to blurring the signal features. This paper presents a new image coder employing edge preservation based on local variance analysis to improve the visual appearance and recognizability of compressed images. The analysis and compression is performed by dividing an image into blocks. Fast lifting wavelet transform is developed with the advantages of being computationally efficient and boundary effects minimized by changing wavelet shape for handling filtering near the boundaries. A modified SPIHT algorithm with more bits used to encode the wavelet coefficients and transmitting fewer bits in the sorting pass for performance improvement, is implemented to reduce the correlation of the coefficients at scalable bit rates. Local variance estimation and edge strength measurement can effectively determine the best bit allocation for each block to preserve the local features by assigning more bits for blocks containing more edges with higher variance and edge strength. Experimental results demonstrate that the method performs well both visually and in terms of MSE and PSNR. The proposed image coder provides a potential solution with parallel computation and less memory requirements for mobile applications.
An essential determinant of the value of surrogate digital images is their quality. Image quality measurement has become crucial for most image processing applications. Over the past years , there have been many attempts to develop models or metrics for image quality that incorporate elements of human visual sensitivity. However, there is no current standard and objective definition of spectral image quality. This paper proposes a reliable automatic method for objective image quality measurement by wavelet analysis throughout the spatial frequency range. This is done by a detailed analysis of an image for a wide range of spatial frequency content, using a combination of modulation transfer function (MTF), brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness and noise, as a more revealing metric for quality evaluation. A fast lifting wavelet algorithm is developed for computationally efficient spatial frequency analysis, where fine image detail corresponding to high spatial frequencies and image sharpness in regard to lower and mid -range spatial frequencies can be examined and compared accordingly. The wavelet frequency deconstruction is actually to extract the feature of edges in sub-band images. The technique provides a means to relate the quality of an image to the interpretation and quantification throughout the frequency range, in which the noise level is estimated in assisting with quality analysis. The experimental results of using this method for image quality measurement exhibit good correlation to subjective visual quality assessments.