“Sea-thru: A Method for Removing Water from Underwater Images,” a Presentation from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Derya Akkaynak, Engineer and Oceanographer at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, presents the “Sea-thru: A Method for Removing Water from Underwater Images” tutorial at the September 2020 Embedded Vision Summit.

Very large underwater image datasets are generated every day that capture important information regarding the state of our oceans, but they cannot be efficiently analyzed with powerful computer vision and machine learning algorithms because water degrades images too severely for automated analysis. Existing methods that attempt to restore lost colors and contrast perform poorly and, as a result, the analysis of most underwater imagery requires costly manual effort, affecting the pace at which marine science moves forward.

In this presentation, Akkaynak shows that a fundamental reason for this poor performance is the common use of an atmospheric image formation model for the ocean. Based on the (more) physically accurate underwater image formation model recently proposed and validated, she then introduces the Sea-thru algorithm that successfully removes water from underwater images in a rapid, objective, and repeatable way, creating exciting opportunities for the future of underwater exploration and conservation.

See here for a PDF of the slides.

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