A new approach to cleaning up digital photos and other images has been developed by researchers in the UK and Jordan. The method uses a computer algorithm known as a PSO (Particle Swarm Optimization) to intelligently boost contrast and detail in an image without distorting the underlying features.
Malik Braik and Alaa Sheta of the Department of Information Technology, at Al-Balqa Applied University, in Salt, Jordan, working with Aladdin Ayesh in the Division of Computer Engineering, at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, explain that the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm represents an entirely new approach to solving all kinds of optimization problems. PSO has recently been used in computer science and electrical engineering.
The roots of the PSO algorithms lie in Swarm Intelligence paradigm which is inspired by models of living systems, artificial life (A-life) in general, and by theories of how and why birds flock, why schools of fish behave the way they do and in particular what controls swarming insects. Despite its potential it relies on only simple mathematics and does not need powerful computers to run, which means software applications based on PSO would not be limited only to academic researchers and those with access to supercomputers.
There have been several approaches to image enhancement developed by image manipulation software companies and others. However, none comes up to the standards of the kind of image enhancement often seen in fiction, where a blurry distorted image on a screen is rendered pin-sharp at the click of a mouse. PSO, however, takes image enhancement a step closer to this ideal.
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