Coupled PDE for Ultrasound Despeckling Using ENI Classification

R. Soorajkumar, P. Krishnakumar, D. Girish, Jeny Rajan | 2016


Speckle is a type of noise which is often present in ultrasound images. Speckle is formed due to constructive or destructive interference of ultrasound waves. Due to the granular pattern of speckle noise, it hides important details in ultrasound images. Many despeckling techniques are proposed in the literature, but most of them fail to reach a balance between the removal of speckle noise and preservation of the fine details in the image. In this work, an improved coupled PDE model is proposed which combines second order selective degenerate diffusion (SDD) model and fourth order PDE model based on the assumption that speckle in ultrasound image follows Gamma distribution. An edge noise interior (ENI) method is used to control the diffusion. With the help of ENI controlling function, the diffusion at edge pixels and noisy pixels are selectively accomplished with varying speed. Thus, the proposed model preserves the edges and fine texture details in the image. The model is tested on simulated images after corrupting the images with various levels of Gamma noise. Further, we have tested it on real ultrasound images also. The performance of the proposed model is compared with other similar techniques and the proposed method outperforms other state-of-the-art methods, both in terms of qualitative and quantitative measures.