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Image-based medical diagnosis typically relies on the (poorly reproducible) subjective classification of textures in order to differentiate between diseased and healthy pathology. Clinicians claim that significant benefits would arise from quantitative measures to inform clinical decision making. The first step in generating such measures is to extract local image descriptors - from noise corrupted and often spatially and temporally coarse resolution medical signals - that are invariant to illumination, translation, scale and rotation of the features. The Dual- Tree Complex Wavelet Transform (DT-CWT) provides a wavelet multiresolution analysis (WMRA) tool e.g. in 2D with good properties, but has limited rotational selectivity. Also, it requires computationally- intensive steering due to the inherently 1D operations performed. The monogenic signal, which is defined in n >= 2D with the Riesz transform gives excellent orientation information without the need for steering. Recent work has suggested the Monogenic Riesz-Laplace wavelet transform as a possible tool for integrating these two concepts into a coherent mathematical framework. We have found that the proposed construction suffers from a lack of rotational invariance and is not optimal for retrieving local image descriptors. In this paper we show: 1. Local frequency and local phase from the monogenic signal are not equivalent, especially in the phase congruency model of a "feature", and so they are not interchangeable for medical image applications. 2. The accuracy of local phase computation may be improved by estimating the denoising parameters while maximizing a new measure of "featureness". © 2009 SPIE.

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