Image Processing Using MATLAB: Image Deblurring and Hough Transform (Part 4 of 4)

Dr Anil Kumar Maini is former director, Laser Science and Technology Centre, a premier laser and optoelectronics R&D laboratory of DRDO of Ministry of Defence--Varsha Agrawal is a senior scientist with Laser Science and Technology Centre (LASTEC), a premier R&D lab of DRDO


Image I can be of class uint8, uint16, int16, single or double. Other inputs have to be of class double. Image J has the same class as Image I.

The following example simulates a blurred image by convolving a Gaussian filter PSF with an image (using imfilter):

1. Read an image in MATLAB:
>> I=imread(‘image_2.tif’);

Image read in MATLAB
Fig.6: Image read in MATLAB

Fig. 6 shows the image.


2. Create the PSF, blur the image and add noise to it:
>> PSF = fspecial(‘gaussian’,11,5);
>> Blurred = imfilter(I,PSF,’conv’);
>> V=0.03;

The blurry and noisy image
Fig. 7: The blurry and noisy image

Note that additive noise in the image is simulated by adding Gaussian noise of variance V to the blurred image (using imnoise). Fig. 7 shows the blurry and the noisy image.

3. The image is deblurred using deconvreg function, specifying the PSF used to create the blur and the noise power (NP):
>> NP=V*prod(size(I));
>> [reg1 LAGRA] = deconvreg(Blurred_
>>figure, imshow(reg1)

Restored image
Fig. 8: Restored image

Fig. 8 shows the restored image.

Hough transform

The Hough transform is designed to identify lines and curves within an image. Using the Hough transform, you can find line segments and endpoints, measure angles, find circles based on size, and detect and measure circular objects in an image.

In the following Hough transform example we take an image, automatically detect circles or circular objects in it, and visualise the detected circles.

1. Read the image and display it. This example uses an image of circles of various colours:
>> I=imread(‘Image_3.png’);
>>figure, imshow(I)

Image of circles of various colours read and displayed
Fig. 9: Image of circles of various colours read and displayed

Fig. 9 shows the image.

2. Determine radius range for searching circles. A quick way to find the appropriate radius range is to use the interactive tool imdistline, which gives an estimate of the radii of various objects.

h = imdistline creates a Distance tool on the current axis. The function returns h—handle to an imdistline object.

Distance tool is a draggable, resizable line, superimposed on an axis, which measures the distance between two endpoints of the line. It displays the distance in a text label superimposed over the line. The tool specifies the distance in data units determined by XData and YData properties, which is pixels by default.

Image shown when interactive tool imdistline is written in MATLAB
Fig. 10: Image shown when interactive tool imdistline is written in MATLAB

If you wrote the following command in MATLAB, Fig. 9 would change to that shown in Fig. 10:
>>d = imdistline

The line can be dragged to get the size of different circles.

In a nutshell, imdistline command creates a draggable tool that can be moved to fit across a circle and the numbers can be read to get an approximate estimate of its radius.

To remove the imdistline tool, use the function:

Image with a number of circles
Fig. 11: Image with a number of circles

3. Consider the image shown in Fig. 11. The aim is to find the number of circles in the figure.

Quite evidently, there are many circles having different colours with different contrasts with respect to the background. Blue and red circles have strong contrast with respect to the background, whereas white and yellow circles have the poorest contrast with respect to the background.

4. We calculate the objects that are brighter and those that are darker than the background. For this, we need to convert this RGB image into grayscale version:
>> RGB=imread(‘Image_4.png’);
>>figure, imshow(gray_image)

RGB image in Fig. 11 converted into grayscale image
Fig. 12: RGB image in Fig. 11 converted into grayscale image

Figure 12 shows the grayscale image

5. Function centers=imfindcircles (A,radius) finds circles in image A whose radii are approximately equal to radius. The output, centers, is a two-column matrix containing (x, y) coordinates of centers of the circles in the image.

[centers,radii] = imfindcircles (A,radiusRange) finds circles with radii in the range specified by radiusRange. The additional output argument, radii, contains the estimated radii corresponding to the center of each circle in centers.

By default, imfindcircles finds circular objects that are brighter than the background. In our case, let us set the parameter ‘ObjectPolarity’ to ‘dark’ in imfindcircles to search for dark circles:

>> [centers,radii]=imfindcircles(RGB,
[40 60],’ObjectPolarity’,’Dark’)

The result of the above command is:

centers = 384.2814 204.1827
radii = 50.1646

As you can see, only one circle is detected. This happens because imfindcircles is a circle detector, and similar to most detectors, imfindcircles has an internal detection threshold that determines its sensitivity. imfindcircles has a parameter ‘sensitivity’ that can be used to control this internal threshold, and consequently, the sensitivity of the algorithm. A higher sensitivity value sets a lower detection threshold and leads to detection of more circles. This is similar to the sensitivity control on motion detectors used in home security systems.

6. By default, sensitivity, which is a number between 0 and 1, is set to 0.85. Increase sensitivity to 0.9:

>> [centers,radii]=imfindcircles(RGB,
[40 60],’ObjectPolarity’,’Dark’,

You will get:

centers =
384.2002 204.0138
248.6127 201.3416
198.2825 73.5618
442.8091 77.9060
radii =

By increasing sensitivity to 0.9, the function imfindcircles found four circles. ‘centers’ contains center locations of circles and ‘radii’ contains the estimated radii of these circles.

7. Function viscircles can be used to draw circles on the image. Output variables ‘centers’ and ‘radii’ from function imfindcircles can be passed directly to function viscircles:

>> h=viscircles(centers,radii)

Circles drawn using function viscircles | Hough Transform
Fig. 13: Circles drawn using function viscircles

Fig. 13 shows the result.



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