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Image Interpolation and Resampling

P. Thévenaz, T. Blu, M. Unser

Handbook of Medical Imaging, Processing and Analysis, I.N. Bankman, Ed., Academic Press, San Diego CA, USA, pp. 393-420, 2000.



This chapter presents a survey of interpolation and resampling techniques in the context of exact, separable interpolation of regularly sampled data. In this context, the traditional view of interpolation is to represent an arbitrary continuous function as a discrete sum of weighted and shifted synthesis functions—in other words, a mixed convolution equation. An important issue is the choice of adequate synthesis functions that satisfy interpolation properties. Examples of finite-support ones are the square pulse (nearest-neighbor interpolation), the hat function (linear interpolation), the cubic Keys' function, and various truncated or windowed versions of the sinc function. On the other hand, splines provide examples of infinite-support interpolation functions that can be realized exactly at a finite, surprisingly small computational cost. We discuss implementation issues and illustrate the performance of each synthesis function. We also highlight several artifacts that may arise when performing interpolation, such as ringing, aliasing, blocking and blurring. We explain why the approximation order inherent in the synthesis function is important to limit these interpolation artifacts, which motivates the use of splines as a tunable way to keep them in check without any significant cost penalty.


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