Knowledge of the scene illuminant spectral power distribution is useful for many imaging applications, such as color image reproduction and automatic algorithms for image database applications. In many applications accurate spectral characterization of the illuminant is impossible because the input device acquires only three spectral samples. In such applications it is sensible to set a more limited objective of classifying the illuminant as belonging to one of several likely types. We describe a data set of natural images with measured illuminants for testing illuminant classification algorithms. One simple type of algorithm is described and evaluated by using the new data set. The empirical measurements show that illuminant information is more reliable in bright regions than in dark regions. Theoretical predictions of the algorithm’s classification performance with respect to scene illuminant blackbody color temperature are tested and confirmed by using the natural-image data set.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(330.1690) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color
Original Manuscript: January 3, 2000
Revised Manuscript: July 11, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: July 11, 2000
Published: January 1, 2001
Shoji Tominaga, Satoru Ebisui, and Brian A. Wandell, "Scene illuminant classification: brighter is better," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 55-64 (2001)