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The Role of Bright Pixels in Illumination Estimation

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The White-Patch method, one of the very first colour constancy methods, estimates the illuminant colour from the maximum response of three colour channels. However, this simple method has been superseded by advanced physical, statistical and learning based colour constancy methods. Recently, a few research works have suggested that the simple idea of using maximum pixel values is not as limited an idea as it seems on first glance. These works show that in several situations some manipulations can indeed made it perform very well. Here, we extend the White-Patch assumption to include any of: white patch, highlights or light source; let us refer to these pixels in an image as the “bright” pixels areas. We propose that bright pixels are surprisingly helpful in the illumination estimation process.

In this paper, we investigate the effects of bright pixels on several current colour constancy algorithms. Moreover, we describe a simple framework for an illumination estimation method based on bright pixels and compare its accuracy to well-known colour constancy algorithms applied to four standard datasets. We also investigate failure and success cases, using bright pixels, and propose desiderata on input images with regard to the proposed method.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • CIC is the premier annual technical gathering for scientists, technologists, and engineers working in the areas of color science and systems, and their application to color imaging. Participants represent disciplines ranging from psychophysics, optical physics, image processing, color science to graphic arts, systems engineering, and hardware and software development. While a broad mix of professional interests is the hallmark of these conferences, the focus is color. CICs traditionally offer two days of short courses followed by three days of technical sessions that include three keynotes, an evening lecture, a vibrant interactive (poster) papers session, and workshops. An endearing symbol of the meeting is the Cactus Award, given each year to the author(s) of the best interactive paper; there are also Best Paper and Best Student Paper awards.

    Please note: for Purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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