Abstract

The task of distinguishing material changes from shadow boundaries in chromatic images is discussed. Although there have been previous attempts at providing solutions to this problem, the assumptions that were adopted were too restrictive. Using a simple reflection model, we show that the ambient illumination cannot be assumed to have the same spectral characteristics as the incident illumination, since it may lead to the classification of shadow boundaries as material changes. In such cases, we show that it is necessary to take into account the spectral properties of the ambient illumination in order to develop a technique that is more robust and stable than previous techniques. This technique uses a biologically motivated model of color vision and, in particular, a set of chromatic-opponent and double-opponent center-surround operators. We apply this technique to simulated test patterns as well as to a chromatic image. It is shown that, given some knowledge about the strength of the ambient illumination, this method provides a better classification of shadow boundaries and material changes.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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