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Robust contrast enhancement by a coupled oscillatory paradigm: An application for visual sensors in transportation

M.A. Latif (Transportation Informatics Group, Institute of Smart Systems Technologies, Alpen‐Adria University Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria)
J.C. Chedjou (Transportation Informatics Group, Institute of Smart Systems Technologies, Alpen‐Adria University Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria)
K. Kyamakya (Transportation Informatics Group, Institute of Smart Systems Technologies, Alpen‐Adria University Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria)

Abstract

Purpose

An image contrast enhancement is one of the most important low‐level image pre‐processing tasks required by the vision‐based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). This paper seeks to address this important issue keeping the real time constraints in focus, which is especially vital for the ADAS.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is based on a paradigm of nonlinear‐coupled oscillators in image processing. Each layer of the colored images is treated as an independent grayscale image and is processed separately by the paradigm. The pixels with the lowest and the highest gray levels are chosen and their difference is enhanced to span all the gray levels in an image over the entire gray level range, i.e. [0 1]. This operation enhances the contrast in each layer and the enhanced layers are finally combined to produce a color image of a much improved quality.

Findings

The approach performs robust contrast enhancement as compared to other approaches available in the relevant literature. Generally, other approaches do need a new setting of parameters for every new image to perform its task, i.e. contrast enhancement. These approaches are not useful for real‐time applications such as ADAS. Whereas, the proposed approach presented in this paper performs contrast enhancement for different images under the same setting of parameters, hence giving rise to the robustness in the system. The unique setting of parameters is derived through a bifurcation analysis explained in the paper.

Originality/value

The proposed approach is novel in different aspects. First, the proposed paradigm comprises of coupled differential equations, and therefore, offers a continuous model as opposed to other approaches in the relevant literature. This continuity in the model is an inherent feature of the proposed approach, which could be useful in realizing real‐time image processing with an analog implemented circuit of the approach. Furthermore, a novel framework combining coupled oscillatory paradigm and cellular neural network is also possible to achieve ultra‐fast solution in image contrast enhancement.

Keywords

Citation

Latif, M.A., Chedjou, J.C. and Kyamakya, K. (2011), "Robust contrast enhancement by a coupled oscillatory paradigm: An application for visual sensors in transportation", COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 1416-1432. https://doi.org/10.1108/03321641111133299

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited