• rukawa

MemberApr 16, 2014

## What is a box filter?

I am currently studying feature detectors and descriptors, and when reading about SURF, I read that it uses box filters and applies them to integral images. What exactly are box filters and what is the difference between a box filter and a regular filter? where do the term BOX come from?
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• MemberApr 17, 2014

Does anyone know what a box filter is?
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rukawa
Does anyone know what a box filter is?
A little more information would definitely suffice. I did a search and found a paper that might be relevant. I've absolutely no idea what it's talking about, though: #-Link-Snipped-#
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• MemberApr 17, 2014

Box filtering is basically an average-of-surrounding-pixel kind of image filtering. It is actually a convolution filter which is a commonly used mathematical operation for image filtering. A convolution filters provide a method of multiplying two arrays to produce a third one. In box filtering, image sample and the filter kernel are multiplied to get the filtering result. The filter kernel is like a description of how the filtering is going to happen, it actually defines the type of filtering. The power of box filtering is one can write a general image filter that can do sharpen, emboss, edge-detect, smooth, motion-blur, etcetera. Provided approriate filter kernel is used.

Now that I probably had wet your appetite let us see further the coolness of box filtering and its filter kernel. A filter kernel defines filtering type, but what exactly is it? Think of it as a fixed size small box or window larger than a pixel. Imagine that it slides over the sample image through all positions. While doing so, it constantly calculates the average of what it sees through its window.
The minimum standard size of a filter kernel is 3x3, as shown in above diagram. Due to the rule that a filter kernel must fit within the boundary of sampling image, no filtering will be applied on all four sides of the image in question. With special treatment, it can be done, but what is more important than making the basic work first? Enough talk, lets get to the implementation asap!
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