Estimation of optimal PDE-based denoising in the SNR sense

G. Gilboa, N. Sochen, Y.Y. Zeevi, “Estimation of optimal PDE-based denoising in the SNR sense”, IEEE Trans. on Image Processing Vol. 15, No. 8, pp. 2269-2280, 2006.


This paper is concerned with finding the best PDE-based denoising process, out of a set of possible ones. We focus either on finding the proper weight of the fidelity term in the energy minimization formulation, or on determining the optimal stopping time of a nonlinear diffusion process. A necessary condition for achieving maximal SNR is stated, based on the covariance of the noise and the residual part. We provide two practical alternatives for estimating this condition, by observing that the filtering of the image and the noise can be approximated by a decoupling technique, with respect to the weight or time parameters.

Our automatic algorithm obtains quite accurate results on a variety of synthetic and natural images, including piecewise smooth and textured ones. We assume that the statistics of the noise were previously estimated. No a-priori knowledge regarding the characteristics of the clean image is required .

A theoretical analysis is carried out, where several SNR performance bounds are established for the optimal strategy and for a widely used method, wherein the variance of the residual part equals the variance of the noise.