Abstract

We propose a new method of color-pattern recognition by optical correlation that uses a linear description of spectral reflectance functions and the spectral power distribution of illuminants that contains few parameters. We report on a method of preprocessing color input scenes in which the spectral functions are derived from linear models based on principal-component analysis. This multichannel algorithm transforms the red-green-blue (RGB) components into a new set of components that permit a generalization of the matched filter operations that are usually applied in optical pattern recognition with more-stable results under changes in illumination in the source images. The correlation is made in the subspace spanned by the coefficients that describe all reflectances according to a suitable basis for linear representation. First we illustrate the method in a control experiment in which the scenes are captured under known conditions of illumination. The discrimination capability of the algorithm improves upon the conventional RGB multichannel decomposition used in optical correlators when scenes are captured under different illuminant conditions and is slightly better than color recognition based on uniform color spaces (e.g., the CIELab system). Then we test the coefficient method in situations in which the target is captured under a reference illuminant and the scene that contains the target under an unknown spectrally different illuminant. We show that the method prevents false alarms caused by changes in the illuminant and that only two coefficients suffice to discriminate polychromatic objects.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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