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Relationship between a digital image and a signal

An image is a two-dimensional array in which color information is arranged along x and y spatial axis. So, in order to understand how the image is formed, we should first understand how the signal is formed?


A signal is a mathematical and statistical approach that relates us to the physical world. It can be measured through its dimensions and time over space. Signals are used to convey information from one source to another.

A signal can be measured on one or two-dimensional array or higher dimensional signal. The common example is a sound, images, and sensor output signals.

Here, one-dimensional signals are measured on time over space and two-dimensional signals are measured on some other physical quantities, for example, digital image.


A signal is that which conveys information around us in the physical world, it can be any voice, images etc. whatever we speak, it first converted into a signal or wave and then transfer to others in due time period. While capturing an image in the digital camera, a signal is transferred from one system to another.

How a digital image is formed?

A digital image is formed by the small bits of data i.e. pixels, which are stored in computers. When we capture an image in our digital camera in presence of light then this camera works like a digital sensor and converts it into digital signals.

Here, sampling and quantization are the two processes that are required to convert data into a digital form.

So, typically we would like to know where this digital image stored. In our computer memory, pixels are stored in form of raster image or raster map, which are a 2D array of small integers. Therefore, these integer values are often stored in compressed form.

Overlapping fields

1. Machine or Computer Vision

Machine and computer vision are almost the same with a few other characteristics. It deals with developing a system in which input is an image and output is some information.

For example: In an ice cream industry, the vision system can be used to identify many things during packaging of ice cream in a cup. It can verify that the empty cup is free of damage. It can verify the correct level to fill the ice cream. It can check the label is correctly placed or not. It can verify the cup is sealed correctly or not.

Depending on the coding of the software, system can verify and act.

2. Computer graphics

Computer graphics is a series of an image which is formed from object models. Instead of capturing images from a device, images are generated using an object model. Computer generated images are used for making video games, movies, advertisement, etc.

Relationship between digital image and signal

(system perform rendering of the image)

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area of Computer Science that creates machine?s work and reacts like humans. Computer scenes are used after the image has been processed to obtain features. Artificial intelligence has many applications in image processing.

For example: X-ray, MRI, CT-Scan, etc. are in the form of the image which helps the doctor in treatment.

Signal processing

Signal processing includes extracting, manipulating, and storing information that has complex signals and images. There are many applications of signals in image processing.

For Example: In the field of medicine, there are both one and multidimensional signals such as EEG, ultrasound signals, etc. and 2 and 3-dimensional images such as ultrasound images, holographic images, etc.

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