Abstract

Imagery is often used to accomplish some computational task. In such cases there are some aspects of the imagery that are relevant to the task and other aspects that are not. In order to quantify the task-specific quality of such imagery, we introduce the concept of task-specific information (TSI). A formal framework for the computation of TSI is described and is applied to three common tasks: target detection, classification, and localization. We demonstrate the utility of TSI as a metric for evaluating the performance of three imaging systems: ideal geometric, diffraction-limited, and projective. The TSI results obtained from the simulation study quantify the degradation in the task-specific performance with optical blur. We also demonstrate that projective imagers can provide higher TSI than conventional imagers at small signal-to-noise ratios.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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