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<p><b>Abstract</b>—The standard approach to edge detection is based on a model of edges as large step changes in intensity. This approach fails to reliably detect and localize edges in natural images where blur scale and contrast can vary over a broad range. The main problem is that the appropriate spatial scale for local estimation depends upon the local structure of the edge, and thus varies unpredictably over the image. Here we show that knowledge of sensor properties and operator norms can be exploited to define a unique, locally computable <it>minimum reliable scale</it> for local estimation at each point in the image. This method for local scale control is applied to the problem of detecting and localizing edges in images with shallow depth of field and shadows. We show that edges spanning a broad range of blur scales and contrasts can be recovered accurately by a single system with no input parameters other than the second moment of the sensor noise. A natural dividend of this approach is a measure of the thickness of contours which can be used to estimate focal and penumbral blur. Local scale control is shown to be important for the estimation of blur in complex images, where the potential for interference between nearby edges of very different blur scale requires that estimates be made at the minimum reliable scale.</p>
Edge detection, localization, scale space, blur estimation, defocus, shadows.

J. H. Elder and S. W. Zucker, "Local Scale Control for Edge Detection and Blur Estimation," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, vol. 20, no. , pp. 699-716, 1998.
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