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Introduction to Video and Image Processing: Building Real Systems and Applications

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One of the first times I ever encountered video and image processing was in a semester project at my fourth year of studying. The aim of the project was to design a system that automatically located the center and size of mushrooms in an image. Given this information a robot should pick the mushrooms. I was intrigued by the notion of a “seeing computer”. Little did I know that this encounter would shape most parts (so far) of my professional life.

I decided to study video and image processing in depth and signed up for a master’s program focusing on these topics. I soon realized that I had made a good choice, but was puzzled by the fact that the wonders of digital video and image processing often were presented in a strict mathematical manner.While this is fine for hardcore engineers (including me) and computer scientists, it makes video and image processing unnecessarily difficult for others. I really felt this was a pity and decided to do something about it—that was 15 years ago.

In this book the concepts and methods are described in a less mathematical manner and the language is in general casual. In order to assist the reader with the math that is used in the book Appendix B is included. In this regards this textbook is selfcontained. Some of the key algorithms are exemplified in C-code. Please note that the code is neither optimal nor complete and merely serves as an additional input for comprehending the algorithms.

Another aspect that puzzled me as a student was that the textbooks were all about image processing, while we constructed systems that worked with video. Many of the methods described for image processing can obviously also be applied to video data. But video data add the temporal dimension, which is often the key to success in systems processing video. This book therefore aims at not only introducing image processing but also video processing. Moreover, the last two chapters of the book describe the process of designing and implementing real systems processing video data. On the website for the book you can find detailed descriptions of other practical systems processing video: http://www.vip.aau.dk.

I have tried to make the book as concise as possible. This has forced me to leave out details and topics that might be of interest to some readers. As a compromise each chapter is ended by a “Further Information” section wherein pointers to additional concepts, methods and details are given.
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