Clifford-Hermite and Two-Dimensional Clifford-Gabor Filters For Early Vision
Image processing has been much inspired by the human vision, in particular with regard to early vision. The latter refers to the earliest stage of visual processing responsible for the measurement of local structures such as points, lines, edges and textures in order to facilitate subsequent interpretation of these structures in higher stages (known as high level vision) of the human visual system. This low level visual computation is carried out by cells of the primary visual cortex. The receptive field profiles of these cells can be interpreted as the impulse responses of the cells, which are then considered as filters. According to the Gaussian derivative theory, the receptive field profiles of the human visual system can be approximated quite well by derivatives of Gaussians. Two mathematical models suggested for these receptive field profiles are on the one hand the Gabor model and on the other hand the Hermite model which is based on analysis filters of the Hermite transform. The Hermite filters are derivatives of Gaussians, while Gabor filters, which are defined as harmonic modulations of Gaussians, provide a good approximation to these derivatives. It is important to note that, even if the Gabor model is more widely used than the Hermite model, the latter offers some advantages like being an orthogonal basis and having better match to experimental physiological data. In our earlier research both filter models, Gabor and Hermite, have been developed in the framework of Clifford analysis. Clifford analysis offers a direct, elegant and powerful generalization to higher dimension of the theory of holomorphic functions in the complex plane. In this paper we expose the construction of the Hermite and Gabor filters, both in the classical and in the Clifford analysis framework. We also generalize the concept of complex Gaussian derivative filters to the Clifford analysis setting. Moreover, we present further properties of the Clifford-Gabor filters, such as their relationship with other types of Gabor filters and their localization in the spatial and in the frequency domain formalized by the uncertainty principle.