Introduction and overview
What Will We Learn?
- What is image processing
- What are the main applications of image processing
- What is an image
- What is a digital image
- What are the goals of image processing algorithms
- What are the most common image processing operations
- Which hardware and software components are typically needed to build an image processing system
- What is a machine vision system (MVS) and what are its main components
- Why is it so hard to emulate the performance of the human visual system (HVS) using cameras and computers
Humans have historically relied on their vision for tasks ranging from basic instinctive survival skills to detailed and elaborate analysis of works of art. Our ability to guide our actions and engage our cognitive abilities based on visual input is a remarkable trait of the human species, and much of how exactly we do what we do—and seem to do it so well—remains to be discovered.
The need to extract information from images and interpret their contents has been one of the driving factors in the development of image processing1 and computer vision during the past decades.
Image processing applications cover a wide range of human activities, such as the following:
- Medical Applications: Diagnostic imaging modalities such as digital radiography, PET (positron emission tomography), CAT (computerized axial tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), among others, have been adopted ...