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PErformance and time requirement analysis of top hat transform based small target detection algorithms

Top-Hat transform is well known background suppression method used in small target detection. In this paper, we investigate various different Top-Hat transformation based small target detection approaches. All of the methods are implemented with their best parameter settings and applied to the same test image. The comparison among them is done in terms of three issues: 1. the detection performance (precision and false alarm rate), 2. the time requirement of the method and its usability for real time applications, 3. the number of parameters, which need user interaction. Results show that all of the algorithms require a prior knowledge of target size, which is either used as the structuring element size or as the threshold for post-processing. Algorithms, which use automatic approaches to select its parameters, are not generic to be applied to various images. But algorithms, which use adaptive methods for deciding on the threshold value, perform better than the others.