Color normalization for color object recognition

Finlayson, Graham D. and Tian, Gui Yun (1999) Color normalization for color object recognition. International Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, 13 (8). pp. 1271-1285. ISSN 0218-0014

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Color images depend on the color of the capture illuminant and object reflectance. As such image colors are not stable features for object recognition, however stability is necessary since perceived colors (the colors we see) are illuminant independent and do correlate with object identity. Before the colors in images can be compared, they must first be preprocessed to remove the effect of illumination. Two types of preprocessing have been proposed: first, run a color constancy algorithm or second apply an invariant normalization. In color constancy preprocessing the illuminant color is estimated and then, at a second stage, the image colors are corrected to remove color bias due to illumination. In color invariant normalization image RGBs are redescribed, in an illuminant independent way, relative to the context in which they are seen (e.g. RGBs might be divided by a local RGB average). In theory the color constancy approach is superior since it works in a scene independently: color invariant normalization can be calculated post-color constancy but the converse is not true. However, in practice color invariant normalization usually supports better indexing. In this paper we ask whether color constancy algorithms will ever deliver better indexing than color normalization. The main result of this paper is to demonstrate equivalence between color constancy and color invariant computation. The equivalence is empirically derived based on color object recognition experiments. colorful objects are imaged under several different colors of light. To remove dependency due to illumination these images are preprocessed using either a perfect color constancy algorithm or the comprehensive color image normalization. In the perfect color constancy algorithm the illuminant is measured rather than estimated. The import of this is that the perfect color constancy algorithm can determine the actual illuminant without error and so bounds the performance of all existing and future algorithms. Post-color constancy or color normalization processing, the color content is used as cue for object recognition. Counter-intuitively perfect color constancy does not support perfect recognition. In comparison the color invariant normalization does deliver near-perfect recognition. That the color constancy approach fails implies that the scene effective illuminant is different from the measured illuminant. This explanation has merit since it is well known that color constancy is more difficult in the presence of physical processes such as fluorescence and mutual illumination. Thus, in a second experiment, image colors are corrected based on a scene dependent "effective illuminant". Here, color constancy preprocessing facilitates near-perfect recognition. Of course, if the effective light is scene dependent then optimal color constancy processing is also scene dependent and so, is equally a color invariant normalization.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: color,color constancy,color invariant,normalization,object recognition
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Computing Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Colour and Imaging Lab
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Interactive Graphics and Audio
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2014 12:40
Last Modified: 01 May 2024 10:30
DOI: 10.1142/S0218001499000720

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