Quality-guided phase unwrapping is a widely used technique with different quality definitions and guiding strategies reported. It is thus necessary to do a detailed comparison of these approaches to choose the optimal quality map and guiding strategy. For quality maps, in the presence of noise, transform-based methods are found to be the best choice. However in the presence of discontinuities, phase unwrapping is itself unresolved and hence quality-guided phase unwrapping is not sufficient. For guiding strategies, classical, two-section, and stack-chain guiding strategies are chosen for comparison. If accuracy is the foremost criterion then the classical guiding strategy with a data structure of indexed interwoven linked list is best. If speed is of essence then the stack-chain guiding strategy is the one to use.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 31, 2011
Revised Manuscript: August 19, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: August 20, 2011
Published: November 16, 2011
Ming Zhao, Lei Huang, Qican Zhang, Xianyu Su, Anand Asundi, and Qian Kemao, "Quality-guided phase unwrapping technique: comparison of quality maps and guiding strategies," Appl. Opt. 50, 6214-6224 (2011)