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Publication - Professor David Bull

    Noise creates polarization artefacts


    Tibbs, A, Daly, I, Bull, D & Roberts, N, 2018, ‘Noise creates polarization artefacts’. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, vol 13.


    The accuracy of calculations of both the degree and angle of polarization depend strongly on the noise in the measurements used. The noise in the measurements recorded by both camera based systems and spectrometers can lead to significant artefacts and incorrect conclusions about high degrees of polarization when in fact none exist. Three approaches are taken in this work: Firstly, the absolute error introduced as a function of the signal to noise ratio for polarization measurements is quantified in detail. An important finding here is the reason for why several studies incorrectly suggest that black (low reflectivity) objects are highly polarized. The high degree of polarization is only an artefact of the noise in the calculation. Secondly, several simple
    steps to avoid such errors are suggested. Thirdly, if these points can’t be followed, two methods are presented for mitigating the effects of noise: a maximum likelihood estimation method and a new denoising algorithm to best calculate the degree of polarization of natural polarization information.

    Full details in the University publications repository