UCLA just open-sourced a powerful new image-detection algorithm

It helps computers “see” in ways that human eyes can't

Image recognition has become increasingly critical in applications ranging from smartphones to driverless cars, and on Wednesday UCLA opened up to the public a new algorithm that promises big gains.

The Phase Stretch Transform algorithm is a physics-inspired computational approach to processing images and information that can help computers "see" features of objects that aren't visible using standard imaging techniques. It could be used to detect an LED lamp's internal structure, for example -- something that would be obscured to conventional techniques by the brightness of its light. It can also distinguish distant stars that would normally be invisible in astronomical images, UCLA said.

Essentially, the algorithm works by performing a mathematical operation that identifies objects' edges and then detects and extracts their features. It can also enhance images and recognize objects' textures. Potential applications include face, fingerprint and iris recognition for high-tech security as well as navigation systems in self-driving cars or industrial-product inspection.

Developed by a group led by Bahram Jalali, a UCLA professor of electrical engineering, and senior researcher Mohammad Asghari, the Phase Stretch Transform algorithm grew out of UCLA research on a technique called photonic time stretch, which has been used for ultrafast imaging and detecting cancer cells in blood. By open-sourcing its code, the researchers hope to enable others to incorporate the technology into computer-vision, pattern-recognition and other image-processing applications, they said.

It's now available on GitHub and the MATLAB Central File Exchange.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?