Proposal of Dehazing Method and Quantitative Index for Evaluation of Haze Removal Quality

Yi RU  Go TANAKA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E100-A   No.4   pp.1045-1054
Publication Date: 2017/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Image
Keyword: 
dehazing,  haze removal,  quantitative index,  brightness,  saturation,  

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Summary: 
When haze exists in an image of an outdoor scene, the visibility of objects in the image is deteriorated. In recent years, to improve the visibility of objects in such images, many dehazing methods have been investigated. Most of the methods are based on the atmospheric scattering model. In such methods, the transmittance and global atmospheric light are estimated from an input image and a dehazed image is obtained by substituting them into the model. To estimate the transmittance and global atmospheric light, the dark channel prior is a major and powerful concept that is employed in many dehazing methods. In this paper, we propose a new dehazing method in which the degree of haze removal can be adjusted by changing its parameters. Our method is also based on the atmospheric scattering model and employs the dark channel prior. In our method, the estimated transmittance is adjusted to a more suitable value by a transform function. By choosing appropriate parameter values for each input image, good haze removal results can be obtained by our method. In addition, a quantitative index for evaluating the quality of a dehazed image is proposed in this paper. It can be considered that haze removal is a type of saturation enhancement. On the other hand, an output image obtained using the atmospheric scattering model is generally darker than the input image. Therefore, we evaluate the quality of dehazed images by considering the balance between the brightness and saturation of the input and output images. The validity of the proposed index is examined using our dehazing method. Then a comparison between several dehazing methods is carried out using the index. Through these experiments, the effectiveness of our dehazing method and the quantitative index is confirmed.