In this paper, a novel fractional-order fusion model (FFM) is presented for low-light image enhancement. Existing image enhancement methods don’t adequately extract contents from low-light areas, suppress noise, and preserve naturalness. To solve these problems, the main contributions of this paper are using fractional-order mask and the fusion framework to enhance the low-light image. Firstly, the fractional mask is utilized to extract illumination from the input image. Secondly, image exposure adjusts to visible the dark regions. Finally, the fusion approach adopts the extracting of more hidden contents from dim areas. Depending on the experimental results, the fractional-order differential is much better for preserving the visual appearance as compared to traditional integer-order methods. The FFM works well for images having complex or normal low-light conditions. It also shows a trade-off among contrast improvement, detail enhancement, and preservation of the natural feel of the image. Experimental results reveal that the proposed model achieves promising results, and extracts more invisible contents in dark areas. The qualitative and quantitative comparison of several recent and advance state-of-the-art algorithms shows that the proposed model is robust and efficient.
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