Deep learning has significantly impacted a variety of technology fields during the last few years. One of the trendiest topics echoing throughout this industry is “computer vision,” or the capacity of computers to interpret images and movies on their own. The operation of bio-metrics, self-driving cars, and facial recognition all require computer vision. The foundation of computer vision is image processing.
Image – What is it?
We must first comprehend exactly what an image is before moving on to image processing. Based on the quantity of pixels, the height and breadth of an image serve as a representation of it. The total number of pixels in an image, for instance, is 200000 if its width and height are 500 and 400, respectively.
This pixel is a location on the image that assumes a certain hue, level of transparency, or colour. Typically, it appears as one of the following:
- Grayscale – Pixels are integers with values ranging from 0 to 255. (0 is entirely black, while 255 is entirely white).
- RGB – A pixel consists of three integers in the range of 0 to 255. (Integers are used to indicate the intensities of red, green, and blue.)
- RGBA – It is a modification of RGB with an additional alpha field, which stands for the image’s opacity.
Each pixel of an image must undergo a set of fixed processes in order to process it. The first round of actions on the image are carried out pixel by pixel by the image processor. When this is finished completely, it will start the second operation, and so on. Any pixel in the image can be used to compute the operation’s output value.
Image Processing – What is it?
Image processing is the process of transforming an image into a digital format and applying particular steps to it in order to extract some useful information. The image processing system typically interprets all images as 2D signals when applying certain specified signal processing algorithms.
Image processing can be divided into five categories:
- Visualization – Find the missing objects in the picture.
- Recognition – Identify or locate objects in the image.
- Sharpening and restoration – Create an improved version of the original image.
- Pattern recognition – Measure the numerous patterns that surround the picture’s objects.
- Retrieval – Browse and look for images that like the original image in a sizable library of digital pictures.
Fundamental Image Processing Steps:
Image Acquisition: The initial stage of image processing is image acquisition. This phase of image processing is frequently referred to as pre-treatment. A source must be used to get the image, usually one that is hardware-based.
Image Enhancement: Image enhancement is the method of bringing out and emphasizing specific interesting characteristics in a hidden image. Changing the brightness, contrast, etc., can do this.
Image Restoration: Image restoration is the process of enhancing an image’s look. Picture restoration, as opposed to image augmentation, is carried out utilizing specific mathematical or probabilistic models.
Color Image Processing: A variety of color modelling methods are used in digital domains as part of color picture processing. Due to the widespread usage of digital photos on the internet, this step has acquired popularity.
Wavelets and Multi-resolution Processing: Wavelets are used to depict images at different resolution levels. For data compression and pyramidal representation, the images are separated into wavelets or smaller sections.
Compression: Compression is a technique used to lessen the amount of space needed to save or transmit an image. This is done specifically when the image will be used online.
Morphological Processing: Images can be changed based on their shapes using a set of processing procedures called morphological processing.
Segmentation: It is one of the most difficult components of image processing. It involves breaking down an image into its various objects or elements.
Representation and Description: The segmentation process divides a picture into areas, and each region is represented and described in a way that is suitable for further computer processing. The qualities and regional aspects of the image are covered via representation. It is the job of description to extract quantitative data that helps distinguish one class of items from another.
Recognition: Based on its description, recognition gives an object a label.
Application of Image Processing:
Medical Image Retrieval: Image processing has played a significant role in medical research, improving the accuracy and efficacy of treatment plans. For instance, utilizing a powerful nodule identification algorithm in breast scans, it can be used for the early detection of breast cancer. These programs must go through a rigorous testing and implementation procedure before being certified for usage because medical applications require highly experienced image processors.
Traffic Sensing Technologies: A video image processing system, often known as VIPS, is used with traffic sensors. This is made up of three systems: an image capture system, a communications system, and an image processing system. A VIPS uses a number of detecting zones to record video, each of which emits a “on” signal when a vehicle enters it and a “off” signal when it leaves. These detection zones can be set up for many lanes and can be utilized to detect traffic at a specific station.
In addition, it can identify the type of car, automatically record the licence plate, track the speed of the driver on the highway, and do much more.
Image Reconstruction: An image’s missing or damaged portions can be repaired and filled in using image processing. In order to produce newer copies of outdated and damaged photographs, image processing systems that have been thoroughly trained with existing photo datasets are used.
Face Detection: Face detection is one of the most frequently used image processing techniques in use today. The machine is initially educated with the distinctive characteristics of human faces, such as the form of the face, the spacing between the eyes, etc., using deep learning techniques. Once the machine has mastered these traits of a human face, it can identify any objects in an image that resemble a human face. Face detection is a key method used in security, bio-metrics, and even filters accessible on most social networking sites nowadays.
Benefits of Image Processing:
The implementation of image processing technology has greatly impacted numerous tech companies. Regardless of the industry, image processing has the following most helpful advantages:
- Any format that the user wants for the digital image can be made available (improved image, X-Ray, photo negative, etc)
- It enhances visuals for easier interpretation by people.
- Information can be extracted from images for automated interpretation.
- By adjusting the image’s pixels, any desired density and contrast can be obtained.
- It is simple to store and retrieve images.
- It enables straightforward electronic image transmission to third-party vendors.
What is Computer Vision Technology?
In order to create a new class of tool, computer vision is not just one technology but a collection of them. It is ultimately a technology for gathering, processing, and analyzing images that can automate, through machine learning methods, the tasks that human visual analysis can do. Industry analysts suggest thinking of computer vision technology as having three legs: sensing gear, software (particularly algorithms), and the data sets that result from the combination of these three.
Camera sensors that capture images make up the first component of the system. These can be on satellites, surveillance cameras, and other monitoring systems. Carrie Solinger, a senior research analyst for IDC’s research on cognitive/artificial intelligence systems and content analytics, claims that the bulk of use cases currently in use include watching video.
Solinger claims that because the program is still in its early stages of development, the analysis is frequently retrospective as opposed to real-time streaming. The amount of processing power needed to analyse photos has increased substantially, but according to Solinger, the algorithms still lag behind. She does point out that IT giants like Google, Microsoft, and others are working to develop such algorithms that can interpret photos in real-time or very close to real-time.
According to Werner Goertz, a Gartner analyst who specializes in AI, algorithms continue to take advantage of developing camera and sensor technology. The data sets, he claims, are a result of the commoditization of cameras and the related computational advancements. The number of data sets increases as a result of everything.
It becomes easier to create, define, and use the data sets that computer vision systems produce as more of them are put into use. Large technology firms are all understanding that we are on the threshold where this stuff can scale, can become affordable, and can become a disruptive and major part of all of our lives, since it’s going to affect us all in one shape or form,” according to the report.
Image Processing vs Computer Vision – Difference
What distinguishes image processing from computer vision? Rule-based engines are used in image processing. For instance, rules might be applied to a digital image to draw attention to particular colours or features. These guidelines produce the final image.
On the other hand, computer vision is powered by AI and machine learning techniques. Machine learning, not rules, determines how the image analysis turns out. Additionally, the computer improves and refines its methods with each image that is processed by the algorithms that form the basis of computer vision platforms. This suggests that as you utilize computer vision more, there is “a larger and higher probability of an accurate interpretation.”
According to Solinger, the primary distinction between computer vision and image processing is that the latter is essentially a step in the former. She asserts that “the techniques, not the aims” are the primary distinction.
Hardware and software are both a part of computer vision. Tools for image processing examine photographs and extract metadata, after which users can edit and modify the images to produce the desired results. According to Solinger, image processing is a prerequisite for computer vision, which uses algorithms to produce data.
Need Of Image Processing in Medical Field:
- Interfacing analog outputs of sensors such as endoscope to digitizers and into image processing systems
- Changing density range of Black and White images
- Colour correction and manipulation of colours within a colour image
- Contour detection and area calculations of cells in a biometric image
- Restoration and smoothing of images
- Construction of 3D Images to 2D images
- Zooming of images
- Removal of artefacts from the image
- Easy for doctors to see the interior portion of the human body.
The growth of deep learning technologies has led to the rapid acceleration of computer vision in open source projects, which has only increased the need for image processing tools. The demand for professionals with key skills in deep learning technologies is growing at a rapid pace every year.
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