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Universal evaluation and design of imaging systems using information estimation

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posted on 2024-06-04, 16:00 authored by Henry Pinkard, Leyla Kabuli, Eric Markley, Tiffany Chien, Jiantao Jiao, Laura Waller
Information theory, which describes the transmission of signals in the presence of noise, has enabled the development of reliable communication systems that underlie the modern world. Imaging systems can also be viewed as a form of communication, in which information about the object is "transmitted" through images. However, the application of information theory to imaging systems has been limited by the challenges of accounting for their physical constraints. Here, we introduce a framework that addresses these limitations by modeling the probabilistic relationship between objects and their measurements. Using this framework, we develop a method to estimate information using only a dataset of noisy measurements, without making any assumptions about the image formation process. We demonstrate that these estimates comprehensively quantify measurement quality across a diverse range of imaging systems and applications. Furthermore, we introduce Information-Driven Encoder Analysis Learning (IDEAL), a technique to optimize the design of imaging hardware for maximum information capture. This work provides new insights into the fundamental performance limits of imaging systems and offers powerful new tools for their analysis and design.



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