It is usual to preprocess data before reduction, but it is not so common to study how this operation affects the final results. Determination of the centroid is a relevant task for many optical measurement devices, and the centroid is very often calculated over thresholded data. The influence of preprocessing thresholding algorithms on the statistical properties of intensity data affected by additive Gaussian noise is described as a different effective additive signal perturbation. Theoretical, simulated, and experimental analyses of the model of the effective noise were performed, and good agreement among the analyses was obtained. Direct extension of the analyses from the influence of preprocessing to centroid determination is also presented.
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