Object Depth Profile and Reflectivity Restoration from Sparse Single-Photon Data Acquired in Underwater Environments

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This paper presents two new algorithms for the joint restoration of depth and reflectivity (DR) images constructed from time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) measurements. Two extreme cases are considered: (i) a reduced acquisition time that leads to very low photon counts and (ii) imaging in a highly attenuating environment (such as a turbid medium) which makes the reflectivity estimation more difficult at increasing range. Adopting a Bayesian approach, the Poisson distributed observations are combined with prior distributions about the parameters of interest, to build the joint posterior distribution. More precisely, two Markov random field (MRF) priors enforcing spatial correlations are assigned to the DR images. Under some justified assumptions, the restoration problem (regularized likelihood) reduces to a convex formulation with respect to each of the parameters of interest. This problem is first solved using an adaptive Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm that approximates the minimum mean square parameter estimators. This algorithm is fully automatic since it adjusts the parameters of the MRFs by maximum marginal likelihood estimation. However, the MCMC-based algorithm exhibits a relatively long computational time. The second algorithm deals with this issue and is based on a coordinate descent algorithm. Results on single-photon depth data from laboratory based underwater measurements demonstrate the benefit of the proposed strategy that improves the quality of the estimated DR images.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-484
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computational Imaging
Issue number3
Early online date15 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


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