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Real-Time GAN-Based Model for Underwater Image Enhancement

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS,volume 14233)


Enhancing image quality is crucial for achieving an accurate and reliable image analysis in vision-based automated tasks. Underwater imaging encounters several challenges that can negatively impact image quality, including limited visibility, color distortion, contrast sensitivity issues, and blurriness. Among these, depending on how the water filters out the different light colors at different depths, the color distortion results in a loss of color information and a blue or green tint to the overall image, making it difficult to identify different underwater organisms or structures accurately. Improved underwater image quality can be crucial in marine biology, oceanography, and oceanic exploration. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) architecture for underwater image enhancement, restoring good perceptual quality to obtain a more precise and detailed image. The effectiveness of the proposed method is evaluated on the EUVP dataset, which comprises underwater image samples of various visibility conditions, achieving remarkable results. Moreover, the trained network is run on the RPi4B as an embedded system to measure the time required to enhance the images with limited computational resources, simulating a practical underwater investigation setting. The outcome demonstrates the presented method applicability in real-world underwater exploration scenarios.


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This work was supported by “Smart unmannEd AeRial vehiCles for Human likE monitoRing (SEARCHER)” project of the Italian Ministry of Defence (CIG: Z84333EA0D); and “A Brain Computer Interface (BCI) based System for Transferring Human Emotions inside Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)” Sapienza Research Projects (Protocol number: RM1221816C1CF63B); and “DRrone Aerial imaGe SegmentatiOn System (DRAGONS)” (CIG: Z71379B4EA); and Departmental Strategic Plan (DSP) of the University of Udine - Interdepartmental Project on Artificial Intelligence (2020–25); and “An Integrated Platform For Autonomous Agents For Maritime Situational Awareness (ARGOS)” project of the Italian Ministry of Defence (PNRM 2022); and the MICS (Made in Italy - Circular and Sustainable) Extended Partnership and received funding from Next-Generation EU (Italian PNRR - M4 C2, Invest 1.3 - D.D. 1551.11-10-2022, PE00000004). CUP MICS B53C22004130001.

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Avola, D. et al. (2023). Real-Time GAN-Based Model for Underwater Image Enhancement. In: Foresti, G.L., Fusiello, A., Hancock, E. (eds) Image Analysis and Processing – ICIAP 2023. ICIAP 2023. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 14233. Springer, Cham.

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