Abstract

A method is investigated for optimizing the end-to-end performance of image gathering and restoration for visual quality. To achieve this objective, one must inevitably confront the problems that the visual quality of restored images depends on perceptual rather than mathematical considerations and that these considerations vary with the target, the application, and the observer. Following the theoretical treatments presented in recent papers [ J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 1644 ( 1985); J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 285 ( 1988) J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5, 300 ( 1988)], the method adopted in this paper is to optimize image gathering informationally and to restore images interactively to obtain the visually preferred trade-off among fidelity, resolution, sharpness, and clarity. The results demonstrate that this method leads to significant improvements in the visual quality obtained by the traditional digital processing methods. These traditional methods allow a significant loss of visual quality to occur because they treat the design of the image-gathering system and the formulation of the image-restoration algorithm as two separate tasks and fail to account for the transformations between the continuous and the discrete representations in image gathering and reconstruction.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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