Precise Image-Based Measurements through Irregular Sampling
Abstract: Mathematical morphology is a theory that is applicable broadly in signal processing, but in this thesis we focus mainly on image data. Fundamental concepts of morphology include the structuring element and the four operators: dilation, erosion, closing, and opening. One way of thinking about the role of the structuring element is as a probe, which traverses the signal (e.g. the image) systematically and inspects how well it "fits" in a certain sense that depends on the operator.Although morphology is defined in the discrete as well as in the continuous domain, often only the discrete case is considered in practice. However, commonly digital images are a representation of continuous reality and thus it is of interest to maintain a correspondence between mathematical morphology operating in the discrete and in the continuous domain. Therefore, much of this thesis investigates how to better approximate continuous morphology in the discrete domain. We present a number of issues relating to this goal when applying morphology in the regular, discrete case, and show that allowing for irregularly sampled signals can improve this approximation, since moving to irregularly sampled signals frees us from constraints (namely those imposed by the sampling lattice) that harm the correspondence in the regular case. The thesis develops a framework for applying morphology in the irregular case, using a wide range of structuring elements, including non-flat structuring elements (or structuring functions) and adaptive morphology. This proposed framework is then shown to better approximate continuous morphology than its regular, discrete counterpart.Additionally, the thesis contains work dealing with regularly sampled images using regular, discrete morphology and weighting to improve results. However, these cases can be interpreted as specific instances of irregularly sampled signals, thus naturally connecting them to the overarching theme of irregular sampling, precise measurements, and mathematical morphology.
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