Abstract

A neural network can learn color constancy, defined here as the ability to estimate the chromaticity of a scene’s overall illumination. We describe a multilayer neural network that is able to recover the illumination chromaticity given only an image of the scene. The network is previously trained by being presented with a set of images of scenes and the chromaticities of the corresponding scene illuminants. Experiments with real images show that the network performs better than previous color constancy methods. In particular, the performance is better for images with a relatively small number of distinct colors. The method has application to machine vision problems such as object recognition, where illumination-independent color descriptors are required, and in digital photography, where uncontrolled scene illumination can create an unwanted color cast in a photograph.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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