Pyramidal fractal dimension for high resolution images

Chaos. 2016 Jul;26(7):073109. doi: 10.1063/1.4958709.


Fractal analysis (FA) should be able to yield reliable and fast results for high-resolution digital images to be applicable in fields that require immediate outcomes. Triggered by an efficient implementation of FA for binary images, we present three new approaches for fractal dimension (D) estimation of images that utilize image pyramids, namely, the pyramid triangular prism, the pyramid gradient, and the pyramid differences method (PTPM, PGM, PDM). We evaluated the performance of the three new and five standard techniques when applied to images with sizes up to 8192 × 8192 pixels. By using artificial fractal images created by three different generator models as ground truth, we determined the scale ranges with minimum deviations between estimation and theory. All pyramidal methods (PM) resulted in reasonable D values for images of all generator models. Especially, for images with sizes ≥1024×1024 pixels, the PMs are superior to the investigated standard approaches in terms of accuracy and computation time. A measure for the possibility to differentiate images with different intrinsic D values did show not only that the PMs are well suited for all investigated image sizes, and preferable to standard methods especially for larger images, but also that results of standard D estimation techniques are strongly influenced by the image size. Fastest results were obtained with the PDM and PGM, followed by the PTPM. In terms of absolute D values best performing standard methods were magnitudes slower than the PMs. Concluding, the new PMs yield high quality results in short computation times and are therefore eligible methods for fast FA of high-resolution images.