Abstract

In this paper, we present an infrared small target detection method based on Boolean map visual theory. The scheme is inspired by the phenomenon that small targets can often attract human attention due to two characteristics: brightness and Gaussian-like shape in the local context area. Motivated by this observation, we perform the task under a visual attention framework with Boolean map theory, which reveals that an observer’s visual awareness corresponds to one Boolean map via a selected feature at any given instant. Formally, the infrared image is separated into two feature channels, including a color channel with the original gray intensity map and an orientation channel with the orientation texture maps produced by a designed second order directional derivative filter. For each feature map, Boolean maps delineating targets are computed from hierarchical segmentations. Small targets are then extracted from the target enhanced map, which is obtained by fusing the weighted Boolean maps of the two channels. In experiments, a set of real infrared images covering typical backgrounds with sky, sea, and ground clutters are tested to verify the effectiveness of our method. The results demonstrate that it outperforms the state-of-the-art methods with good performance.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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