Least-squares optimal interpolation for direct image super-resolution : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Image super-resolution aims to produce a higher resolution representation of a scene from an ensemble of low-resolution images that may be warped, aliased, blurred and degraded by noise. There are a variety of methods for performing super-resolution described in the literature, and in general they consist of three major steps: image registration, fusion and deblurring. This thesis proposes a novel method of performing the first two of these steps. The ultimate aim of image super-resolution is to produce a higher-quality image that is visually clearer, sharper and contains more detail than the individual input images. Machine algorithms can not assess images qualitatively and typically use a quantitative error criterion, often least-squares. This thesis aims to optimise leastsquares directly using a fast method, in particular one that can be implemented using linear filters; hence, a closed-form solution is required. The concepts of optimal interpolation and resampling are derived and demonstrated in practice. Optimal filters optimised on one image are shown to perform nearoptimally on other images, suggesting that common image features, such as stepedges, can be used to optimise a near-optimal filter without requiring the knowledge of the ground-truth output. This leads to the construction of a pulse model, which is used to derive filters for resampling non-uniformly sampled images that result from the fusion of registered input images. An experimental comparison shows that a 10th order pulse model-based filter outperforms a number of methods common in the literature. The use of optimal interpolation for image registration linearises an otherwise nonlinear problem, resulting in a direct solution. Experimental analysis is used to show that optimal interpolation-based registration outperforms a number of existing methods, both iterative and direct, at a range of noise levels and for both heavily aliased images and images with a limited degree of aliasing. The proposed method offers flexibility in terms of the size of the region of support, offering a good trade-off in terms of computational complexity and accuracy of registration. Together, optimal interpolation-based registration and fusion are shown to perform fast, direct and effective super-resolution.
Image resolution, Optimal filters, Optimal interpolation, Image registration