Abstract

An imaging photon-counting detector is used to achieve automatic sorting of two image classes. The classification decision is formed on the basis of the cross correlation between a photon-limited input image and a reference function stored in computer memory. Expressions for the statistical parameters of the low-light-level correlation signal are given and are verified experimentally. To obtain a correlation-based system for two-class sorting, it is necessary to construct a reference function that produces useful information for class discrimination. An expression for such a reference function is derived using maximum-likelihood decision theory. Theoretically predicted results are used to compare on the basis of performance the maximum-likelihood reference function with Fukunaga–Koontz basis vectors and average filters. For each method, good class discrimination is found to result in milliseconds from a sparse sampling of the input image.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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