We propose a novel approach to retrieving the phase map coded by a single closed-fringe pattern in digital speckle pattern interferometry, which is based on the estimation of the local sign of the quadrature component. We obtain the estimate by calculating the local orientation of the fringes that have previously been denoised by a weighted smoothing spline method. We carry out the procedure of sign estimation by determining the local abrupt jumps of size π in the orientation field of the fringes and by segmenting the regions defined by these jumps. The segmentation method is based on the application of two-dimensional active contours (snakes), with which one can also estimate absent jumps, i.e., those that cannot be detected from the local orientation of the fringes. The performance of the proposed phase-retrieval technique is evaluated for synthetic and experimental fringes and compared with the results obtained with the spiral-phase- and Fourier-transform methods.
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