An integrated approach to real-time multisensory inspection with an application to food processing
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Real-time inspection based on machine vision technologies is being widely used in quality control and cost reduction in a variety of application domains. The high demands on the inspection performance and low cost requirements make the algorithm design a challenging task that requires new and innovative methodologies in image processing and fusion. In this research, an integrated approach that combines novel image processing and fusion techniques is proposed for the efficient design of accurate and real-time machine vision-based inspection algorithms with an application to the food processing problem. Firstly, a general methodology is introduced for effective detection of defects and foreign objects that possess certain spectral and shape features. The factors that affect performance metrics are analyzed, and a recursive segmentation and classification scheme is proposed in order to improve the segmentation accuracy. The developed methodology is applied to real-time fan bone detection in deboned poultry meat with a detection rate of 93% and a false alarm rate of 7% from a lab-scale testing on 280 samples. Secondly, a novel snake-based algorithm is developed for the segmentation of vector-valued images. The snakes are driven by the weighted sum of the optimal forces derived from corresponding energy functionals in each image, where the weights are determined based on a novel metric that measures both local contrasts and noise powers in individual sensor images. This algorithm is effective in improving the segmentation accuracy when imagery from multiple sensors is available to the inspection system. The effectiveness of the developed algorithm is verified using (i) synthesized images (ii) real medical and aerial images and (iii) color and x-ray chicken breast images. The results further confirmed that the algorithm yields higher segmentation accuracy than monosensory methods and is able to accommodate a certain amount of registration error. This feature-level image fusion technique can be combined with pixel- and decision- level techniques to improve the overall inspection system performance.