International Journal of Computer Vision

, Volume 99, Issue 1, pp 86–102 | Cite as

How to Compare Noisy Patches? Patch Similarity Beyond Gaussian Noise

  • Charles-Alban DeledalleEmail author
  • Loïc Denis
  • Florence Tupin


Many tasks in computer vision require to match image parts. While higher-level methods consider image features such as edges or robust descriptors, low-level approaches (so-called image-based) compare groups of pixels (patches) and provide dense matching. Patch similarity is a key ingredient to many techniques for image registration, stereo-vision, change detection or denoising. Recent progress in natural image modeling also makes intensive use of patch comparison.

A fundamental difficulty when comparing two patches from “real” data is to decide whether the differences should be ascribed to noise or intrinsic dissimilarity. Gaussian noise assumption leads to the classical definition of patch similarity based on the squared differences of intensities. For the case where noise departs from the Gaussian distribution, several similarity criteria have been proposed in the literature of image processing, detection theory and machine learning.

By expressing patch (dis)similarity as a detection test under a given noise model, we introduce these criteria with a new one and discuss their properties. We then assess their performance for different tasks: patch discrimination, image denoising, stereo-matching and motion-tracking under gamma and Poisson noises. The proposed criterion based on the generalized likelihood ratio is shown to be both easy to derive and powerful in these diverse applications.


Patch similarity Likelihood ratio Detection Matching 


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Supplementary material

11263_2012_519_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (274 kb)
Patch similarity under Gaussian, gamma, Poisson and Cauchy noise: Derivation of closed-form expression of similarity criteria, and Proof sketches of some properties (PDF 274 kB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles-Alban Deledalle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Loïc Denis
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Florence Tupin
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Telecom, Telecom ParisTechCNRS LTCIParis cedex 13France
  2. 2.Université de LyonSaint-EtienneFrance
  3. 3.UMR5516, Laboratoire Hubert CurienCNRSSaint-EtienneFrance
  4. 4.Université de Saint-Etienne, Jean MonnetSaint-EtienneFrance

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