Underwater image restoration based on contrast enhancement

Hui Liu, Lap Pui Chau

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Low contrast and color distortion are two major problems suffered by underwater images. In this work, a novel and systematic enhancement method based on contrast enhancement is proposed to restore the degraded underwater images. The proposed method mainly contains three steps. First, the quadtree subdivision strategy is adopted to estimate the waterlight. Then we formulate a cost function and minimize it so as to find the optimal transmission map which is able to maximize the image contrast. Once the waterlight and transmission map are obtained, based on the underwater image degradation model, the backscattering effect and color distortion caused by the light attenuation along the underwater object-camera path can be corrected. Finally, to further compensate for the color loss along the surface-object propagation path, a simple but effective color correction method is applied. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed method can achieve comparable or even better results than some state-of-The-Art approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2016 IEEE International Conference on Digital Signal Processing, DSP 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781509041657
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2016 IEEE International Conference on Digital Signal Processing, DSP 2016 - Beijing, China
Duration: 16 Oct 201618 Oct 2016

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Digital Signal Processing, DSP


Conference2016 IEEE International Conference on Digital Signal Processing, DSP 2016


  • color correction
  • image contrast
  • transmission map
  • Waterlight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing


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