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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

A Practical Approach for Simultaneous Estimation of Light Source Position, Scene Structure, and Blind Restoration Using Photometric Observations

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20082008:785364

Received: 26 September 2007

Accepted: 2 April 2008

Published: 29 April 2008


Given blurred observations of a stationary scene captured using a static camera but with different and unknown light source positions, we estimate the light source positions and scene structure (surface gradients) and perform blind image restoration. The images are restored using the estimated light source positions, surface gradients, and albedo. The surface of the object is assumed to be Lambertian. We first propose a simple approach to obtain a rough estimate of the light source position from a single image using the shading information which does not use any calibration or initialization. We model the prior information for the scene structure as a separate Markov random field (MRF) with discontinuity preservation, and the blur function is modeled as Gaussian. A proper regularization approach is then used to estimate the light source position, scene structure, and blur parameter. The optimization is carried out using the graph cuts approach. The advantage of the proposed approach is that its time complexity is much less as compared to other approaches that use global optimization techniques such as simulated annealing. Reducing the time complexity is crucial in many of the practical vision problems. Results of experimentation on both synthetic and real images are presented.


  • Time Complexity
  • Markov Random Field
  • Image Restoration
  • Surface Gradient
  • Photometric Observation

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Authors’ Affiliations

Laboratoire d'Imagerie et de Neurosciences Cognitives, UMR CNRS-ULP 7191, Strasbourg, France
Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Image, de l'Informatique et de la Télédétection, UMR CNRS-ULP 7005, Illkirch Cedex, France
Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar, India


© S. Sharma and ManjunathV. Joshi. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.