Our seminar series is free and available for anyone to attend. Unless otherwise stated, seminars take place on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm in the Kilburn Building during teaching season.

If you wish to propose a seminar speaker please contact Antoniu Pop.


From Pixels to Perception

  • Speaker:   Prof  Graham Finlayson  (University of East Anglia)
  • Host:   Mashhuda Glencross
  • 5th March 2008 at 14:15 in Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building
For about the last 10 years, the digital camera market has been obsessed with the number of pixels. New cameras can have 10, 12, 20 or more Mega-pixels per image. Yet, the need for so many pixels is questionable: digital cameras now have around twice the number of colour receptors that we ourselves have and we see the world in perfect clarity. Moreover, from a signal processing point of view, too many pixels means that, even in relatively normal lighting conditions, individual pixels often capture just a handful of photons. As a consequence the resulting raw images measured on a camera CCD are often very noisy. While this noise can be removed, by averaging proximal pixels, doing so reduces the effective resolution of the camera.

At the University of East Anglia, and now in a spin out company called Im-Sense Ltd, we have been developing technology for making better looking images. Our approach is not to focus on the number of pixels in the eye or indeed the eye's general physiology. Rather, we have developed a unique mathematical algorithm which delivers images that look like those we ourselves remember seeing: the processed images are more appealing and vivid (in fact, they appear to have higher definition). Our approach is entirely consistent with our own vision system where the eye records an image but the picture we see is the result of extensive cortical processing. Thus, we believe a major part of the image quality story will be the processing of images and not just the pixel count of the acquisition device or the resolution of the display.

In this talk I will review some of the major processing approaches that have evolved (including Retinex theory and ICAM) and give my view of why these approaches are limited in their application. These limitations are the starting point of the UEA/Im-Sense approach.
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