Total Variation and Mean Curvature PDEs on the Homogeneous Space of Positions and Orientations

Bart M.N. Smets (Corresponding author), Jacobus W. Portegies, Etienne St-Onge, Remco Duits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Two key ideas have greatly improved techniques for image enhancement and denoising: the lifting of image data to multiorientation distributions and the application of nonlinear PDEs such as total variation flow (TVF) and mean curvature flow (MCF). These two ideas were recently combined by Chambolle and Pock (for TVF) and Citti et al. (for MCF) for twodimensional images. In this work, we extend their approach to enhance and denoise images of arbitrary dimension, creating a unified geometric and algorithmic PDE framework, relying on (sub-)Riemannian geometry. In particular, we follow a different numerical approach, for which we prove convergence in the case of TVF by an application of Brezis–Komura gradient flow theory. Our framework also allows for additional data adaptation through the use of locally adaptive frames and coherence enhancement techniques. We apply TVF and MCF to the enhancement and denoising of elongated structures in 2D images via orientation scores and compare the results to Perona–Malik diffusion and BM3D. We also demonstrate our techniques in 3D in the denoising and enhancement of crossing fiber bundles in DW-MRI. In comparison with data-driven diffusions, we see a better preservation of bundle boundaries and angular sharpness in fiber orientation densities at crossings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-262
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Total Variation
  • Mean Curvature
  • sub-Riemannian geometry
  • Roto-translations
  • Denoising
  • Fiber enhancement
  • Sub-Riemannian geometry
  • Total variation
  • Mean curvature


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