By Gabriella McNevin and Donald Rock (COM ’17)
2,820 papers were submitted to the 2014 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing. 1,219 were accepted. 9 were honored as finalists; and two received top accolades. Boston University Professor Vivek Goyal (ECE) and the co-authors of “Computational 3D and Reflectivity Imaging with High Photon Efficiency” received the Best Paper Award.
The conference was held October 27-30 in Paris, and annually draws the world’s leading image and video processing engineers and scientists. It is sponsored by IEEE Signal Processing Society to be a premier forum for new technologies and research in theoretical, experimental, and applied image and video processing.
Assistant Professor Goyal co-authored the paper with his Ph.D. students Dongeek Shin (MIT) and Ahmed Kirmani (MIT), along with MIT Professor Jeffrey H. Shapiro. The paper proposed the field’s most efficient imaging methodology in terms of the number of detected photons, besting the efficiency of “first-photon imaging” research, which was also published by Goyal’s team, in early 2014.
The primary difference between these leading photon-efficient schemes relates to the pixel acquisition time. The new model simplifies the signal collecting process by applying similar theory and algorithms, but with deterministic acquisition durations.
The research team applied the discovery by forming images computationally from very little detected light—about 1 photon per pixel. Modeling and algorithms were implemented to form grayscale photographs of scenes and measurements of 3D structures simultaneously.
In an email correspondence with Goyal, he remarked on the research team’s problem solving efforts. “We applied a rather simple and systematic approach to improve upon the state of the art.” He continued, “I hope that the award encourages others to adopt [our] integrated approach rather than to work on one aspect in isolation.”
Goyal also confided that he was notified of the win by a text message sent by Dr. Philip Chou of Microsoft Research. Chou sent a photo of a co-author holding the prize certificate. “It was a fun way to get the good news.”