Evaluation of the Quality Indicators in Dehazed Images: Color, Contrast, Naturalness, and Visual Pleasingness
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Hazy images suffer from low quality due to blurring, veiling effects, and low contrast. To improve their visibility, dehazing methods attempt to restore them to their corresponding clear scenes, often by focusing more on obtaining an accurate estimate based on a known ground truth. The perceptual quality of dehazed images, which can be described by means of objective and subjective quality assessments, is often not considered. This paper provides a quality assessment of dehazed images, focusing on aspects, e.g., color, image structure, and naturalness. Four image dehazing methods are considered, i.e., Contrast Limited Adapted Histogram Equalization (CLAHE), Dark Channel Prior and Refinement (DCP-R), Perception Inspired Deep Dehazing Network with Refinement (PDR-Net) and Conditional Generative Adversarial Network (CGAN) Pix2pix. The dehazing results are then put through objective and subjective assessments, for a comprehensive evaluation on image quality. Overall, Pix2pix shows the best results objectively, excelling in the recovery of color and image structure. Although it is outperformed by DCP-R in terms of naturalness, our subjective assessment shows that Pix2pix is also most preferred by human observers.