Digital image processing is not a new phenomenon: techniques for the manipulation, correction and enhancement of digital images have been in practical use for over 30 years and the underlying theoretical ideas have been around far longer. We don't have to look far these days to see an example of image processing at work. It has insinuated itself into many different areas of human endeavour, ranging from small-scale activities such as desktop publishing and healthcare, through to activity on the largest scales imaginable - the search for natural resources on the Earth, or the study of other planets, stars and galaxies. Many existing texts give this subject a strong electrical engineering or physics perspective, or present a rigorous treatment that can be comprehended fully only by a reader possessing advanced mathematical skills. Others adopt a less theory-based, more practical approach, but lack the examples or the software tools that would allow readers to develop their own image processing applications; and, where software tools are provided, they are often inflexible or platform dependent. The aim of this book is to provide a practical introduction to image processing, avoiding unnecessary mathematical detail and focusing on the computational aspects of the subject. It balances the discussion of the conceptual and the practical, providing the computer-literate reader with the means to experiment with the concepts while making the material easily digestible to those not wanting to indulge in programming, Those willing to experiment will achieve a deeper understanding of this fascinating and complex subject by working with the Java programs described in the book. The accompanying CD-ROM contains:
• Java classes that can be used to develop sophisticated image processing software
• ready-to-run tools with which to perform image processing experiments.
The book will appeal most strongly to computer enthusiasts with some programming experience, or those students taking an processing course as part of their undergraduate degree.