Image degraded by haze is a critical aspect in today's environment while getting a high-quality haze-free image remains an important task in computer vision. In recent year, many works have been done to improve the visibility of image taken under bad weather. Conventional designs use multiple image and/ or single image to deal with haze removal. In this paper, we use a simple but effective prior, a variation of distance (VoD) prior, to estimate the transmission map and remove haze from a single input image. The VoD prior is developed based on the idea that the outdoor visibility of images taken under hazy weather conditions seriously reduced when the distance increases. The thickness of the haze can be estimated effectively and a haze-free image can be recovered by adopting the VoD prior and the new haze imaging model. Our method is stable to image local regions containing objects in different depths. Our experiments showed that the proposed method achieved better results than several state-of-the-art methods, and it can be implemented very quickly. Our method due to its fast speed and the good visual effect is suitable for real-time applications. This work confirms that estimating the transmission map using the distance information instead the color information is a crucial point in image enhancement and especially single image haze removal.

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