A Robust Hit-or-Miss Transform for Template Matching in Very Noisy Astronomical Images

Abstract : The morphological hit-or-miss transform (HMT) is a powerful tool for digital image analysis. Its recent extensions to grey level images have proven its ability to solve various template matching problems. In this paper we explore the capacity of various existing approaches to work in very noisy environments and discuss the generic methods used to improve their robustness to noise. We also propose a new formulation for a fuzzy morphological HMT which has been especially designed to deal with very noisy images. Our approach is validated through a pattern matching problem in astronomical images that consists of detecting very faint objects: low surface brightness galaxies. Despite their influence on the galactic evolution model, these objects remain mostly misunderstood by the astronomers. Due to their low signal to noise ratio, there is no automatic and reliable detection method yet. In this paper we introduce such a method based on the proposed hit-or-miss operator. The complete process is described starting from the building of a set of patterns until the reconstruction of a suitable map of detected objects. Implementation, running cost and optimisations are discussed. Outcomes have been examined by astronomers and compared to previous works. We have observed promising results in this difficult context for which mathematical morphology provides an original solution.
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Pattern Recognition, Elsevier, 2009, 42 (11), pp.2470-2480. 〈10.1016/j.patcog.2009.02.013〉
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Benjamin Perret, Sébastien Lefèvre, Christophe Collet. A Robust Hit-or-Miss Transform for Template Matching in Very Noisy Astronomical Images. Pattern Recognition, Elsevier, 2009, 42 (11), pp.2470-2480. 〈10.1016/j.patcog.2009.02.013〉. 〈hal-00512735〉

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