The development of a Java image processing framework : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Technology in Computer Systems Engineering at Massey University
Practical computer-based teaching methods are often used in conjunction with theory-based lecture sessions and textbooks when teaching image processing. In kind, electronic or on-line image processing courses commonly provide both theoretical and interactive components, however these are often disparate in that the software used to provide each component is independent rather than integrated. It is less common to find electronic instructional resources for image processing that integrate theoretical textual and practical interactive content together into one seamless package. An integrated approach has the advantage that the concepts are more easily conveyed and reinforced when taught 'side-by-side' this way. The World Wide Web offers an attractive medium for delivering an integrated instructional resource on image processing. Applets written in Java may be seamlessly integrated into a hypertext environment. These applets can provide practical demonstrations of image processing concepts along side the relevant hypertext-based theoretical content. One of the major barriers to realising this kind of resource is the development effort required to create the necessary applets. This research demonstrates that the provision of a software framework can significantly reduce the burden of developing these applets. Such a framework provides a common code base that can be drawn upon during applet development, thereby avoiding the need to start from scratch each time a new applet is needed. The framework's design is modelled on a dataflow view of image processing, allowing applets to be built in terms of interconnections between operations. This design is intended to provide the developer with an intuitive and easy-to-use application programming interface (API) for developing applets. The framework also provides APIs for the programmer to implement new operations and data types, thereby extending the capabilities of the framework. Further, the framework's design is general enough to allow it to be used for developing general purpose image processing programs, or other programs that lend themselves to development using a dataflow language. This thesis shows that the proposed framework achieves its aims through an example application of the development of an applet that demonstrates a thresholding operation.