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University of Rochester

1. Isberg, Thomas Arthur (1961 - ). Quantum-limited image recognition.

Degree: PhD, 2017, University of Rochester

Correlation-based methods for automatic image recognition are implemented using a position-sensitive, photon-counting detection system. It is demonstrated that the information provided by a small number of detected photoevents can be used to accurately estimate the cross correlation between a classical-intensity input scene and a reference (or filter) function stored in computer memory. A theoretical formalism is developed that describes the behavior of the quantum-limited correlation signal for complex filter functions. The theoretical predictions are verified experimentally using a position-sensitive photon-counting detection system. The speed at which the detection system operates makes this an effective technique for implementing correlation based methods for image recognition in real time, even when there is an abundance of input illumination. </br>First, image correlation at low light levels is investigated. When the reference function that is stored in computer memory is a digitized version of the classical intensity input object, the correlation output corresponds to that of a conventional matched filter. It is demonstrated that as few as 1000 detected photoevents provide sufficient information to discriminate accurately among a set of engraved portrait images. </br>Rotation-invariant image recognition using a rotation-invariant circular-harmonic filter is also implemented using photon-counting techniques. In addition, a new method is demonstrated for normalizing the correlation output in real time using the positional information from the detected photoevents. This new normalization may allow rotation-invariant circular-harmonic filters to be utilized in a cluttered environment.

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APA (6th Edition):

Isberg, T. A. (. -. ). (2017). Quantum-limited image recognition. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Rochester. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Isberg, Thomas Arthur (1961 - ). “Quantum-limited image recognition.” 2017. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Rochester. Accessed April 24, 2017.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Isberg, Thomas Arthur (1961 - ). “Quantum-limited image recognition.” 2017. Web. 24 Apr 2017.


Isberg TA(-). Quantum-limited image recognition. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Rochester; 2017. [cited 2017 Apr 24]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Isberg TA(-). Quantum-limited image recognition. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Rochester; 2017. Available from: