Optical Engineering • Open AccessBio-empirical mode decomposition: visible and infrared fusion using biologically inspired empirical mode decomposition
Bio-EMD, a biologically inspired fusion of visible and infrared (IR) images based on empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and color opponent processing, is introduced. First, registered visible and IR captures of the same scene are decomposed into intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) through EMD. The fused image is then generated by an intuitive opponent processing the source IMFs. The resulting image is evaluated based on the amount of information transferred from the two input images, the clarity of details, the vividness of depictions, and range of meaningful differences in lightness and chromaticity. We show that this opponent processing-based technique outperformed other algorithms based on pixel intensity and multiscale techniques. Additionally, Bio-EMD transferred twice the information to the fused image compared to other methods, providing a higher level of sharpness, more natural-looking colors, and similar contrast levels. These results were obtained prior to optimization of color opponent processing filters. The Bio-EMD algorithm has potential applicability in multisensor fusion covering visible bands, forensics, medical imaging, remote sensing, natural resources management, etc.