Optimization of a contrast-detail-based method for electronic image display quality evaluation

Nicholas J. Hangiandreou, Kenneth A. Fetterly, Joel P. Felmlee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The authors previously reported a general technique based on contrast-detail methods to provide an overall quantitative evaluation of electronic image display quality. The figure-of-merit reflecting overall display quality is called maximum threshold contrast or MTC. In this work we have optimized the MTC technique through improvements in both the test images and the figure-of-merit computation. The test images were altered to match the average luminance with that observed for clinical computed radiographic images. The figure-of-merit calculation was altered to allow for contrast-detail data with slopes not equal to -1. Preliminary experiments also were conducted to demonstrate the response of the MTC measurements to increased noise in the displayed image. MTC measurements were obtained from five observers using the improved test images displayed with maximum monitor luminance settings of 30-, 50-, and 70-ft-Lamberts. Similar measurements were obtained from two observers using test images altered by the addition of a low level of image noise. The noise-free MTC and MTC difference measurements exhibited standard deviations of 0.77 and 1.55, respectively. This indicates good measurement precision, comparable or superior to that observed using the earlier MTC technique. No statistically significant image quality differences versus maximum monitor luminance were seen. The noise-added MTC measurements were greater than the noise-free values by an average of 4.08 pixel values, and this difference was statistically significant. This response is qualitatively correct, and is judged to indicate good sensitivity of the MTC measurement to increased noise levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Digital Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Science Applications


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