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Measuring the performance of super-resolution reconstruction algorithms

Author: Dijk, J. · Schutte, K. · Eekeren, A.W.M. van · Bijl, P.
Publisher: SPIE
Place: Bellingham, WA
Source:Holst, al, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXIII, 24 April 2012, Baltimore, MD, USA
Proceedings of SPIE
Identifier: 462335
doi: doi:10.1117/12.919225
Article number: 835515
Keywords: Vision · Signal-to-noise ratio · MTF enhancements · Enhancement techniques · Evaluation algorithm · Ground truth · High resolution · Natural images · Performance evaluation · Sensor resolution · Situational awareness · Target acquisition · Imaging systems · Infrared imaging · Military operations · Algorithms · Defence Research · Defence, Safety and Security · Physics & Electronics Human · II - Intelligent Imaging PCS - Perceptual and Cognitive Systems · TS - Technical Sciences BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences


For many military operations situational awareness is of great importance. This situational awareness and related tasks such as Target Acquisition can be acquired using cameras, of which the resolution is an important characteristic. Super resolution reconstruction algorithms can be used to improve the effective sensor resolution. In order to judge these algorithms and the conditions under which they operate best, performance evaluation methods are necessary. This evaluation, however, is not straightforward for several reasons. First of all, frequency-based evaluation techniques alone will not provide a correct answer, due to the fact that they are unable to discriminate between structure-related and noise-related effects. Secondly, most super-resolution packages perform additional image enhancement techniques such as noise reduction and edge enhancement. As these algorithms improve the results they cannot be evaluated separately. Thirdly, a single high-resolution ground truth is rarely available. Therefore, evaluation of the differences in high resolution between the estimated high resolution image and its ground truth is not that straightforward. Fourth, different artifacts can occur due to super-resolution reconstruction, which are not known on forehand and hence are difficult to evaluate. In this paper we present a set of new evaluation techniques to assess super-resolution reconstruction algorithms. Some of these evaluation techniques are derived from processing on dedicated (synthetic) imagery. Other evaluation techniques can be evaluated on both synthetic and natural images (real camera data). The result is a balanced set of evaluation algorithms that can be used to assess the performance of super-resolution reconstruction algorithms.