Day and Night-Time Dehazing by Local Airlight Estimation

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Day and Night-Time Dehazing by Local Airlight Estimation

Cosmin Ancuti; Codruta O. Ancuti; Christophe De Vleeschouwer; Alan C. Bovik

We introduce an effective fusion-based technique to enhance both day-time and night-time hazy scenes. When inverting the Koschmieder light transmission model, and by contrast with the common implementation of the popular dark-channel [1] , we estimate the airlight on image patches and not on the entire image. Local airlight estimation is adopted because, under night-time conditions, the lighting generally arises from multiple localized artificial sources, and is thus intrinsically non-uniform. Selecting the sizes of the patches is, however, non-trivial. Small patches are desirable to achieve fine spatial adaptation to the atmospheric light, but large patches help improve the airlight estimation accuracy by increasing the possibility of capturing pixels with airlight appearance (due to severe haze). For this reason, multiple patch sizes are considered to generate several images, that are then merged together. The discrete Laplacian of the original image is provided as an additional input to the fusion process to reduce the glowing effect and to emphasize the finest image details. Similarly, for day-time scenes we apply the same principle but use a larger patch size. For each input, a set of weight maps are derived so as to assign higher weights to regions of high contrast, high saliency and small saturation. Finally the derived inputs and the normalized weight maps are blended in a multi-scale fashion using a Laplacian pyramid decomposition. Extensive experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach as compared with recent techniques, both in terms of computational efficiency and the quality of the outputs.

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