We present an algorithm for pulse width estimation from blurred and nonlinear observations in the presence of signal dependent noise. The main application is the accurate measurement of image sizes on film. The problem is approached by modeling the signal as a discrete position finite state Markov process, and then determining the transition location that maximizes the a posteriori probability. It turns out that the blurred signal can be represented by a trellis, and the maximum a posteriori probability (MAP) estimation is obtained by finding the minimum cost path through the trellis. The latter is done by the Viterbi algorithm. Several examples are presented. These include the measurement of the width of a road in an aerial photo taken at an altitude of 5000 ft. The resulting width estimate is accurate to within a few inches.
© 1978 Optical Society of America
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