A Contrast-Guided Approach for the Enhancement of Low-Lighting Underwater Images

Date

2019

Authors

Marques, Tunai Porto
Albu, Alexandra Branzan
Hoeberechts, Maia

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Journal of Imaging

Abstract

Underwater images are often acquired in sub-optimal lighting conditions, in particular at profound depths where the absence of natural light demands the use of artificial lighting. Low-lighting images impose a challenge for both manual and automated analysis, since regions of interest can have low visibility. A new framework capable of significantly enhancing these images is proposed in this article. The framework is based on a novel dehazing mechanism that considers local contrast information in the input images, and offers a solution to three common disadvantages of current single image dehazing methods: oversaturation of radiance, lack of scale-invariance and creation of halos. A novel low-lighting underwater image dataset, OceanDark, is introduced to assist in the development and evaluation of the proposed framework. Experimental results and a comparison with other underwater-specific image enhancement methods show that the proposed framework can be used for significantly improving the visibility in low-lighting underwater images of different scales, without creating undesired dehazing artifacts.

Description

Keywords

image enhancement, image dehazing, underwater image analysis

Citation

Marques, T.P., Albu, A.B. & Hoeberechts, M. (2019). A Contrast-Guided Approach for the Enhancement of Low-Lighting Underwater Images. Journal of Imaging, 5(10), 79. https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging5100079