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Proceedings Paper

Filtering of the Radon transform to enhance linear signal features via wavelet pyramid decomposition
Author(s): John R. Meckley
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Paper Abstract

The information content in many signal processing applications can be reduced to a set of linear features in a 2D signal transform. Examples include the narrowband lines in a spectrogram, ship wakes in a synthetic aperture radar image, and blood vessels in a medical computer-aided tomography scan. The line integrals that generate the values of the projections of the Radon transform can be characterized as a bank of matched filters for linear features. This localization of energy in the Radon transform for linear features can be exploited to enhance these features and to reduce noise by filtering the Radon transform with a filter explicitly designed to pass only linear features, and then reconstructing a new 2D signal by inverting the new filtered Radon transform (i.e., via filtered backprojection). Previously used methods for filtering the Radon transform include Fourier based filtering (a 2D elliptical Gaussian linear filter) and a nonlinear filter ((Radon xfrm)**y with y >= 2.0). Both of these techniques suffer from the mismatch of the filter response to the true functional form of the Radon transform of a line. The Radon transform of a line is not a point but is a function of the Radon variables (rho, theta) and the total line energy. This mismatch leads to artifacts in the reconstructed image and a reduction in achievable processing gain. The Radon transform for a line is computed as a function of angle and offset (rho, theta) and the line length. The 2D wavelet coefficients are then compared for the Haar wavelets and the Daubechies wavelets. These filter responses are used as frequency filters for the Radon transform. The filtering is performed on the wavelet pyramid decomposition of the Radon transform by detecting the most likely positions of lines in the transform and then by convolving the local area with the appropriate response and zeroing the pyramid coefficients outside of the response area. The response area is defined to contain 95% of the total wavelet coefficient energy. The detection algorithm provides an estimate of the line offset, orientation, and length that is then used to index the appropriate filter shape. Additional wavelet pyramid decomposition is performed in areas of high energy to refine the line position estimate. After filtering, the new Radon transform is generated by inverting the wavelet pyramid. The Radon transform is then inverted by filtered backprojection to produce the final 2D signal estimate with the enhanced linear features. The wavelet-based method is compared to both the Fourier and the nonlinear filtering with examples of sparse and dense shapes in imaging, acoustics and medical tomography with test images of noisy concentric lines, a real spectrogram of a blow fish (a very nonstationary spectrum), and the Shepp Logan Computer Tomography phantom image. Both qualitative and derived quantitative measures demonstrate the improvement of wavelet-based filtering. Additional research is suggested based on these results. Open questions include what level(s) to use for detection and filtering because multiple-level representations exist. The lower levels are smoother at reduced spatial resolution, while the higher levels provide better response to edges. Several examples are discussed based on analytical and phenomenological arguments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 1995
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2569, Wavelet Applications in Signal and Image Processing III, (1 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.217618
Show Author Affiliations
John R. Meckley, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2569:
Wavelet Applications in Signal and Image Processing III
Andrew F. Laine; Michael A. Unser, Editor(s)

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