Optical EngineeringApplication of a noise-adaptive contrast sensitivity function to image data compression
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The visual contrast sensitivity function (CSF) has found increasing use in image compression as new algorithms optimize the display-observer interface in order to reduce the bit rate and increase the perceived image quality. In most compression algorithms, increasing the quantization intervals reduces the bit rate at the expense of introducing more quantization error. The CSF can be used to distribute this error as a function of spatial frequency such that it is undetectable by the human observer. Thus, instead of being mathematically lossless, the compression algorithm can be designed to be visually lossless, with the advantage of a significantly reduced bit rate. However, the CSF is strongly affected by image noise, changing in both shape and peak sensitivity. This work describes a model of the CSF that includes these changes as a function of image noise level by using the concepts of internal visual noise. The model is tested in the context of image compression with an observer study.