A method for the system analysis of a multistage photographic or communication system is developed. By following the input signal through the system and estimating the output signal and the output signal without noise, the information capacity after each stage can be estimated. The relationship between the variance and the integral of the power spectrum is used in accounting for the effects of each of the component characteristics: modulation transfer function, density-log exposure relationship and granularity. This method is implemented in a computer program which allows one to vary the characteristics of the components and determine the resultant changes in information capacity. Several variations of a specific photographic system, the color negative system, are examined and discussed. The loss in information capacity is examined at the output of the camera/film stage, printer/paper stage and the human visual system stage. One clear result is that human visual system significantly reduces the information capacity of the entire system. The technique has general application to any communication system which can meet the requirements of the assumptions.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Imaging systems--Analysis; Telecommunication systems--Analysis; System analysis--Computer programs
Department, Program, or Center
Electrical Engineering (KGCOE)
O'Such, William, "Information theoretic analysis of multi-stage communication/imaging systems" (1988). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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