An adaptive enhancement method for breast X-ray images based on the nonsubsampled contourlet transform domain and whale optimization algorithm

  • Chang-Jiang ZhangEmail author
  • Huan-Huan Nie
Original Article


We propose a new method for breast X-ray image adaptive enhancement that combines nonsubsampled contourlet transform (NSCT) with the whale optimization algorithm (WOA). First, the mammography X-ray image was processed by histogram equalization to ensure global image contrast. The processed image was then decomposed into three layers in the NSCT domain. Each layer was each decomposed into two, four, and eight directions. A median filter was used to remove noise in the first and second layers. Then, a special edge filter was adopted to enhance each sub-band image, and two parameters are involved. WOA is used to automatically search the optimal two parameters. Blind image quality index (BIQI) adaptive function was used as an objective function of WOA. Then, inverse NSCT was employed to reconstruct the processed image, generating the final adaptive enhancement image. The digital database for screening mammography (DDSM) was used to verify the performance of the proposed method. Five objective evaluation indexes, including information entropy, average gradient, standard deviation, contrast improvement index (CII), and BIQI, are combined together to construct a new comprehensive index to evaluate the visual quality of the enhanced image. The results show that the proposed method has a good enhancement effect for mammography X-ray images. The overall performance of the proposed method is better than some existing similar methods.

Graphical abstract



Mammography X-ray image NSCT WOA BIQI Adaptive enhancement 



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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Physics and Electronic Information EngineeringZhejiang Normal UniversityJinhuaChina
  2. 2.College of Telecommunication Engineering, Zhejiang Post and Telecommunication CollegeShaoxingChina

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