We propose a multi-scale image fusion scheme based on guided filtering. Guided filtering can effectively reduce noise while preserving detail boundaries. When applied in an iterative mode, guided filtering selectively eliminates small scale details while restoring larger scale edges. The proposed multi-scale image fusion scheme achieves spatial consistency by using guided filtering both at the decomposition and at the recombination stage of the multi-scale fusion process. First, size-selective iterative guided filtering is applied to decompose the source images into approximation and residual layers at multiple spatial scales. Then, frequency-tuned filtering is used to compute saliency maps at successive spatial scales. Next, at each spatial scale binary weighting maps are obtained as the pixelwise maximum of corresponding source saliency maps. Guided filtering of the binary weighting maps with their corresponding source images as guidance images serves to reduce noise and to restore spatial consistency. The final fused image is obtained as the weighted recombination of the individual residual layers and the mean of the approximation layers at the coarsest spatial scale. Application to multiband visual (intensified) and thermal infrared imagery demonstrates that the proposed method obtains state-of-the-art performance for the fusion of multispectral nightvision images. The method has a simple implementation and is computationally efficient.
Toet, A. (2016). Iterative guided image fusion. PeerJ Computer Science, 2, e80. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj-cs.80