The first research activities on signal and image processing started in 1973 at the Istituto of Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica using the computer facilities of the Electronics Laboratory. The research group was interested at that time in the design of systems for still image acquisition and display and in software implementation of techniques for 2-D signal processing, including programs for acquisition, modification and representation of images, point-processing and spatial filtering algorithms.

A connection with the Laser Laboratory was also set up in order to allow the implementation of hybrid optical-digital processing techniques. Specific research activities were centered on the design of 2-D digital filters, with reference to linear phase approximation and finite wordlength realizations. Applications included enhancement of X-ray films, processing of fluoroangiographic data on retinal vascularization, analysis of astronomical plates, drawing of thematic maps for soil classification, etc.

The signal and image processing activities continued since 1985 at the DEEI (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). At that time, an independent laboratory for digital processing of images was created, equipped with dedicated computer facilities and image processors.

The main research activities have been focused on the following subjects:
  • nonlinear filtering techniques, with particular emphasis to polynomial and rational filters;
  • adaptive nonlinear filtering;
  • processing of digital video signals;
  • neural networks for signal and image processing;
  • fuzzy signal and image processing;
  • DSP realizations;
  • FPGA and ASIC realizations.

The main application areas which have been considered are:

  • image and video enhancement;
  • high-dynamic-range images and video;
  • advanced displays;
  • image and video processing for forensic applications;
  • restoration of antique movies and photographs;
  • hardware realization of signal and image processing operators;
  • nonlinear interpolation of images and image sequences;
  • deinterlacing and frame rate conversion for HDTV and multimedia communications;
  • edge detection in noisy images;
  • document image processing;
  • texture discrimination and classification;
  • signal processing for cellular telephony;
  • advanced instrumentation for experimental physics laboratories.