Gaussian pyramid

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope
Gaussian pyramid technique applied to Computer Hope logo.

The Gaussian pyramid is a technique in image processing that breaks down an image into successively smaller groups of pixels, in repeated steps, for the purpose of blurring it. It is named after German mathematician Johann Carl Friederich Gauss. This type of precise mathematical blurring is used extensively in artificially intelligent computer vision as a pre-processing step. For instance, when a digital photograph is blurred in this way, edges of objects are much easier to detect, enabling a computer to identify them automatically.

How does it work?

The "pyramid" is constructed by repeatedly calculating a weighted average of the neighboring pixels of a source image and scaling the image down. It can be visualized by stacking progressively smaller versions of the image on top of one another. This process creates a pyramid shape in which the base of the pyramid is the original image, and the tip is a single pixel representing the average value of the entire image.

Programming terms