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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 52, Iss. 27 — Sep. 20, 2013
  • pp: 6636–6644

On the performance of the physicality-constrained maximum-likelihood estimation of Stokes vector

Haofeng Hu, Guillaume Anna, and François Goudail  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 52, Issue 27, pp. 6636-6644 (2013)

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We address the estimation of the Stokes vectors taking into account the physical realizability constraint. We propose a fast method for computing the constrained maximum-likelihood (CML) estimator for any measurement matrix, and we compare its performance with the classical empirical physicality-constrained estimator. We show that when the measurement matrix is based on four polarization states spanning a regular tetrahedron on the Poincaré sphere, the two estimators are very similar, but the CML provides a better estimation of the intensity. For an arbitrary measurement matrix, the CML estimator does not always yield better estimation performance than the empirical one: their comparative performances depend on the measurement matrix, the actual Stokes vector and the signal-to-noise ratio.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.4280) Coherence and statistical optics : Noise in imaging systems
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: May 29, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: August 8, 2013
Published: September 13, 2013

Haofeng Hu, Guillaume Anna, and François Goudail, "On the performance of the physicality-constrained maximum-likelihood estimation of Stokes vector," Appl. Opt. 52, 6636-6644 (2013)

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