# Laser scanner jitter characterization, page content analysis for optimal rendering, and understanding image graininess

#### Abstract

In Chapter 1, the electrophotographic (EP) process is widely used in imaging systems such as laser printers and office copiers. In the EP process, laser scanner jitter is a common artifact that mainly appears along the scan direction due to the condition of polygon facets. Prior studies have not focused on the periodic characteristic of laser scanner jitter in terms of the modeling and analysis. This chapter addresses the periodic characteristic of laser scanner jitter in the mathematical model. In the Fourier domain, we derive an analytic expression for laser scanner jitter in general, and extend the expression assuming a sinusoidal displacement. This leads to a simple closed-form expression in terms of Bessel functions of the first kind. We further examine the relationship between the continuous-space halftone image and the periodic laser scanner jitter. The simulation results show that our proposed mathematical model predicts the phenomenon of laser scanner jitter effectively, when compared to the characterization using a test pattern, which consists of a flat field with 25% dot coverage However, there is some mismatches between the analytical spectrum and spectrum of the processed scanned test target. We improve experimental results by directly estimating the displacement instead of assuming a sinusoidal displacement. This gives a better prediction of the phenomenon of laser scanner jitter. In Chapter 2, we describe a segmentation-based object map correction algorithm, which can be integrated in a new imaging pipeline for laser electrophotographic (EP) printers. This new imaging pipeline incorporates the idea of object-oriented halftoning, which applies different halftone screens to different regions of the page, to improve the overall print quality. In particular, smooth areas are halftoned with a low-frequency screen to provide more stable printing; whereas detail areas are halftoned with a high-frequency screen, since this will better reproduce the object detail. In this case, the object detail also serves to mask any print defects that arise from the use of a high frequency screen. These regions are defined by the initial object map, which is translated from the page description language (PDL). However, the information of object type obtained from the PDL may be incorrect. Some smooth areas may be labeled as raster causing them to be halftoned with a high frequency screen, rather than being labeled as vector, which would result in them being rendered with a low frequency screen. To correct the misclassification, we propose an object map correction algorithm that combines information from the incorrect object map with information obtained by segmentation of the continuous-tone RGB rasterized page image. Finally, the rendered image can be halftoned by the object-oriented halftoning approach, based on the corrected object map. Preliminary experimental results indicate the benefits of our algorithm combined with the new imaging pipeline, in terms of correction of misclassification errors. In Chapter 3, we describe a study to understand image graininess. With the emergence of the high-end digital printing technologies, it is of interest to analyze the nature and causes of image graininess in order to understand the factors that prevent high-end digital presses from achieving the same print quality as commercial offset presses. We want to understand how image graininess relates to the halftoning technology and marking technology. This chapter provides three different approaches to understand image graininess. First, we perform a Fourier-based analysis of regular and irregular periodic, clustered-dot halftone textures. With high-end digital printing technology, irregular screens can be considered since they can achieve a better approximation to the screen sets used for commercial offset presses. This is due to the fact that the elements of the periodicity matrix of an irregular screen are rational numbers, rather than integers, which would be the case for a regular screen. From the analytical results, we show that irregular halftone textures generate new frequency components near the spectrum origin; and these frequency components are low enough to be visible to the human viewer. However, regular halftone textures do not have these frequency components. In addition, we provide a metric to measure the nonuniformity of a given halftone texture. The metric indicates that the nonuniformity of irregular halftone textures is higher than the nonuniformity of regular halftone textures. Furthermore, a method to visualize the nonuniformity of given halftone textures is described. The analysis shows that irregular halftone textures are grainier than regular halftone textures. Second, we analyze the regular and irregular periodic, clustered-dot halftone textures by calculating three spatial statistics. First, the disparity between lattice points generated by the periodicity matrix, and centroids of dot clusters are considered. Next, the area of dot clusters in regular and irregular halftone textures is considered. Third, the compactness of dot clusters in the regular and irregular halftone textures is calculated. The disparity of between centroids of irregular dot clusters and lattices points generated by the irregular screen is larger than the disparity of between centroids of regular dot clusters and lattices points generated by the regular screen. Irregular halftone textures have higher variance in the histogram of dot-cluster area. In addition, the compactness measurement shows that irregular dot clusters are less compact than regular dot clusters. But, a clustered-dot halftone algorithm wants to produce clustered-dot as compact as possible. Lastly, we exam the current marking technology by printing the same halftone pattern on different substrates, glossy and polyester media. The experimental results show that the current marking technology provides better print quality on glossy media than on polyester media. With above three different approaches, we conclude that the current halftoning technology introduces image graininess in the spatial domain because of the non-integer elements in the periodicity matrix of the irregular screen and the finite addressability of the marking engine. In addition, the geometric characteristics of irregular dot clusters is more irregular than the geometric characteristics of regular dot clusters. Finally, the marking technology provides inconsistency of print quality between substrates.

#### Degree

Ph.D.

#### Advisors

Allebach, Purdue University.

#### Subject Area

Electrical engineering

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