In this paper we describe a novel general purpose image interpolation method based on the combination of two different procedures. First, an adaptive algorithm is applied interpolating locally pixel values along the direction where second order image derivative is lower. Then interpolated values are modified using an iterative refinement minimizing differences in second order image derivatives, maximizing second order derivative values and smoothing isolevel curves. The first algorithm itself provides edge preserving images that are measurably better than those obtained with similarly fast methods presented in the literature. The full method provides interpolated images with a ”natural” appearance that do not present the artifacts affecting linear and nonlinear methods. Objective and subjective tests on a wide series of natural images clearly show the advantages of the proposed technique over existing approaches.
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