The Local Structure of Space-Variant Images
Schwartz, Eric L.
Cohen, Michael A.
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Local image structure is widely used in theories of both machine and biological vision. The form of the differential operators describing this structure for space-invariant images has been well documented (e.g. Koenderink, 1984). Although space-variant coordinates are universally used in mammalian visual systems, the form of the operators in the space-variant domain has received little attention. In this report we derive the form of the most common differential operators and surface characteristics in the space-variant domain and show examples of their use. The operators include the Laplacian, the gradient and the divergence, as well as the fundamental forms of the image treated as a surface. We illustrate the use of these results by deriving the space-variant form of corner detection and image enhancement algorithms. The latter is shown to have interesting properties in the complex log domain, implicitly encoding a variable grid-size integration of the underlying PDE, allowing rapid enhancement of large scale peripheral features while preserving high spatial frequencies in the fovea.