Abstract: This paper evaluates different wavelet-based cross-spectral image fusion strategies adopted to merge visible and infrared images. The objective is to find the best setup independently of the evaluation metric used to measure the performance. Quantitative performance results are obtained with state of the art approaches together with adaptations proposed in the current work. The options evaluated in the current work result from the combination of different setups in the wavelet image decomposition stage together with different fusion strategies for the final merging stage that generates the resulting representation. Most of the approaches evaluate results according to the application for which they are intended for. Sometimes a human observer is selected to judge the quality of the obtained results. In the current work, quantitative values are considered in order to find correlations between setups and performance of obtained results; these correlations can be used to define a criteria for selecting the best fusion strategy for a given pair of cross-spectral images. The whole procedure is evaluated with a large set of correctly registered visible and infrared image pairs, including both Near InfraRed (NIR) and Long Wave InfraRed (LWIR).
Keywords: Image fusion; fusion evaluation metrics; visible and infrared imaging; discrete wavelet transform