Separating a color signal into illumination and surface reflectance components: theory and applications

TitleSeparating a color signal into illumination and surface reflectance components: theory and applications
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsHo J., Funt B.V., Drew M.S
JournalPattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, IEEE Transactions on
Pagination966 -977
Date Publishedoct.
Keywordschromatic aberration effects, color constancy, color signal, colour vision, computer vision, finite-dimensional linear models, illumination, optical sensor, reflectivity, surface reflectance

A separation algorithm for achieving color constancy and theorems concerning its accuracy are presented. The algorithm requires extra information, over and above the usual three values mapping human cone responses, from the optical system. However, with this additional information-specifically, a sampling across the visible range of the reflected, color-signal spectrum impinging on the optical sensor-the authors are able to separate the illumination spectrum from the surface reflectance spectrum contained in the color-signal spectrum which is, of course, the product of these two spectra. At the heart of the separation algorithm is a general statistical method for finding the best illumination and reflectance spectra, within a space represented by finite-dimensional linear models of statistically typical spectra, whose product closely corresponds to the spectrum of the actual color signal. Using this method, the authors are able to increase the dimensionality of the finite-dimensional linear model for surfaces to a realistic value. One method of generating the spectral samples required for the separation algorithm is to use the chromatic aberration effects of a lens. An example of this is given. The accuracy achieved in a large range of tests is detailed, and it is shown that agreement with actual surface reflectance is excellent