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Image denoising beyond additive Gaussian noise Patch-based estimators and their application to SAR imagery

Abstract : Noise in images often limits visual and automatic interpretation of the scene. Speckle in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery and shot noise in photon-limited imagery are two examples of strong corruptions that require the use of denoising techniques. Patches are small image parts that capture both textures and local structures. Though being crude low-level features (compared to higher level descriptors), they have led to very powerful image processing approaches by exploiting the natural redundancy of images. Patch-based methods achieve state-of-the-art denoising performance. The classical patch-based denoising technique non-local (NL) means is designed for images corrupted by an additive Gaussian noise (i.e., fluctuations being symmetrical, signal-independent without outliers). NL means cannot be applied directly on images corrupted by a non-Gaussian process especially with non-symmetrical distribution, signal-dependence and heavy-tail such as speckle and shot noise. The goal of this thesis is to bridge the gap between patch-based denoising methods restricted to Gaussian noise and techniques dedicated to SAR despeckling. After reviewing image denoising techniques for Gaussian noise and for non-Gaussian noise, we propose an extension of the NL means that adapts to a given noise distribution. Besides the problem of image denoising, we study the problem of patch comparison under non-Gaussian conditions. Many tasks in computer vision require matching image parts. We introduce a similarity criterion grounded on the generalized likelihood ratio test and illustrate its effectiveness on different applications including detection, stereo-vision and motion-tracking. This criterion is at the heart of the proposed patch-based estimator. An iterative scheme is proposed to deal with strong noise corruptions and we develop an unsupervised method for parameter setting. Our approach leads to state-of-the-art denoising results in SAR imagery for amplitude images, as well as interferometric or polarimetric data. The proposed technique is applied successfully to one of the latest aerial SAR sensor: F-SAR from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Images with strong contrasts suffer from denoising artefacts known as noise halo due to the absence of similar patches in the vicinity of some structures. This residual noise can be reduced by considering patches with shapes of various scales and orientations. Local selection of relevant shapes leads to an improved denoising quality, especially close to edges.
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Contributor : Charles-Alban Deledalle <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 6, 2012 - 11:53:05 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 31, 2020 - 10:44:07 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 4:42:00 AM


  • HAL Id : pastel-00666781, version 1



Charles-Alban Deledalle. Image denoising beyond additive Gaussian noise Patch-based estimators and their application to SAR imagery. Signal and Image Processing. Télécom ParisTech, 2011. English. ⟨pastel-00666781⟩



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