Super-Resolution (SR) techniques are widely developed to increase image resolution by fusing several Low-Resolution (LR) images of the same scene to overcome sensor hardware limitations and reduce media impairments in a cost-effective manner. When choosing a solution for the SR problem, there is always a trade-off between computational efficiency and High-Resolution (HR) image quality. Existing SR approaches suffer from extremely high computational requirements due to the high number of unknowns to be estimated in the solution of the SR inverse problem. This thesis proposes efficient iterative SR techniques based on Visual Attention (VA) and perceptual modeling of the human visual system. In the first part of this thesis, an efficient ATtentive-SELective Perceptual-based (AT-SELP) SR framework is presented, where only a subset of perceptually significant active pixels is selected for processing by the SR algorithm based on a local contrast sensitivity threshold model and a proposed low complexity saliency detector. The proposed saliency detector utilizes a probability of detection rule inspired by concepts of luminance masking and visual attention. The second part of this thesis further enhances on the efficiency of selective SR approaches by presenting an ATtentive (AT) SR framework that is completely driven by VA region detectors. Additionally, different VA techniques that combine several low-level features, such as center-surround differences in intensity and orientation, patch luminance and contrast, bandpass outputs of patch luminance and contrast, and difference of Gaussians of luminance intensity are integrated and analyzed to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed selective SR frameworks. The proposed AT-SELP SR and AT-SR frameworks proved to be flexible by integrating a Maximum A Posteriori (MAP)-based SR algorithm as well as a fast two-stage Fusion-Restoration (FR) SR estimator. By adopting the proposed selective SR frameworks, simulation results show significant reduction on average in computational complexity with comparable visual quality in terms of quantitative metrics such as PSNR, SNR or MAE gains, and subjective assessment. The third part of this thesis proposes a Perceptually Weighted (WP) SR technique that incorporates unequal weighting parameters in the cost function of iterative SR problems. The proposed approach is inspired by the unequal processing of the Human Visual System (HVS) to different local image features in an image. Simulation results show an enhanced reconstruction quality and faster convergence rates when applied to the MAP-based and FR-based SR schemes.
- Efficient perceptual super-resolution