The Modular Image Processing Environment (MIPE) is a software dedicated to forensic image processing tasks developed at the University of Trieste, Italy, in collaboration with the Reparto Carabinieri Investigazioni Scientifiche, the Italian scientific force. Although we want MIPE to be an open-source product, it is not yet publicly available due to the very early stage of development.

Currently MIPE is developed into the Matlab 7.0 environment thanks to the ease of programming that this language offers; in this way it has been possible to develop a great number of functions and try a wide range of bleeding-edge image processing algorithms. Our plan is anyway to switch very soon to a lower level programming language to gain independency from the Matlab pltaform, provide a better user interface and make it faster.

MIPE is born to overcome the limitations of the forenisc oriented image processing software present on the market. Although they have are very advanced image processing tools their nature of commerical products deny the possibility to see the source code; in a court this could hardly limit the usability of processed images as a proof. A system where full objectivity on the work done on an image is needed, and this is what we want MIPE to be; all the steps of the processing are documented by mean of a log file wich is always saved together with the image: putting it together with the source code of the program it's possible to know exactly what has been done on an image and how it has been done. This is very important in the case of a process. Evertything in MIPE should be open to scrutiny.

MIPE is built in a modular way, the integration of new functions into the overall system is extremely easy and fast. Although it's specifically developed for forensic purpose most of the functions are helpful and common to many other fields. We hope that when it'll be ready as a starting point for an open source project it'll be integrated with many functions coming from and developed for any other field of image processing.