Shiftable Multi-scale Transforms

Eero Simoncelli, William Freeman, Edward Adelson, David Heeger

Published in:
IEEE Trans. Information Theory
Special Issue on Wavelets
March, 1992. 38(2). pp 587-607

Orthogonal wavelet transforms have recently become a popular representation for multi-scale signal and image analysis. One of the major drawbacks of these representations is their lack of translation invariance: the content of wavelet subbands is unstable under translations of the input signal. Wavelet transforms are also unstable with respect to dilations of the input signal, and in two dimensions, rotations of the input signal. We formalize these problems by defining a type of translation invariance that we call ``shiftability''. In the spatial domain, shiftability corresponds to a lack of aliasing; thus, the conditions under which the property holds are specified by the sampling theorem. Shiftability may also be considered in the context of other domains, particularly orientation and scale. We explore ``jointly shiftable'' transforms that are simultaneously shiftable in more than one domain. Two examples of jointly shiftable transforms are designed and implemented: a one-dimensional transform that is jointly shiftable in position and scale, and a two-dimensional transform that is jointly shiftable in position and orientation. We demonstrate the usefulness of these image representations for scale-space analysis, stereo disparity measurement, and image enhancement.