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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 14, Iss. 16 — Aug. 7, 2006
  • pp: 7099–7108

Separation and contrast enhancement of overlapping cast shadow components using polarization

Shih-Schön Lin, Konstantin M. Yemelyanov, Edward N. Pugh, Jr., and Nader Engheta  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 14, Issue 16, pp. 7099-7108 (2006)

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Shadow is an inseparable aspect of all natural scenes. When there are multiple light sources or multiple reflections several different shadows may overlap at the same location and create complicated patterns. Shadows are a potentially good source of information about a scene if the shadow regions can be properly identified and segmented. However, shadow region identification and segmentation is a difficult task and improperly identified shadows often interfere with machine vision tasks like object recognition and tracking. We propose here a new shadow separation and contrast enhancement method based on the polarization of light. Polarization information of the scene captured by our polarization-sensitive camera is shown to separate shadows from different light sources effectively. Such shadow separation is almost impossible to realize with conventional, polarization-insensitive imaging.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(100.0100) Image processing : Image processing
(150.0150) Machine vision : Machine vision
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:
Machine Vision

Original Manuscript: April 14, 2006
Revised Manuscript: May 29, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: May 30, 2006
Published: August 7, 2006

Shih-Schön Lin, Konstantin M. Yemelyanov, Edward N. Pugh, Jr., and Nader Engheta, "Separation and contrast enhancement of overlapping cast shadow components using polarization," Opt. Express 14, 7099-7108 (2006)

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