We propose a novel image-recovery method using the covariance matrix of the red–green–blue (R–G–B) color histogram and tensor theories. The image-recovery method is called the color histogram normalization algorithm. It is known that the color histograms of an image taken under varied illuminations are related by a general affine transformation of the R–G–B coordinates when the illumination is changed. We propose a simplified affine model for application with illumination variation. This simplified affine model considers the effects of only three basic forms of distortion: translation, scaling, and rotation. According to this principle, we can estimate the affine transformation matrix necessary to recover images whose color distributions are varied as a result of illumination changes. We compare the normalized color histogram of the standard image with that of the tested image. By performing some operations of simple linear algebra, we can estimate the matrix of the affine transformation between two images under different illuminations. To demonstrate the performance of the proposed algorithm, we divide the experiments into two parts: computer-simulated images and real images corresponding to illumination changes. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm is effective for both types of images. We also explain the noise-sensitive skew-rotation estimation that exists in the general affine model and demonstrate that the proposed simplified affine model without the use of skew rotation is better than the general affine model for such applications.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 7, 2000
Revised Manuscript: April 27, 2001
Manuscript Accepted: April 22, 2001
Published: November 1, 2001
Soo-Chang Pei, Ching-Long Tseng, and Chai-Che Wu, "Using color histogram normalization for recovering chromatic illumination-changed images," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 2641-2658 (2001)