Abstract

The extraction of spatio-chromatic features from color images is usually performed independently on each color channel. Usual 3D color spaces, such as RGB, present a high inter-channel correlation for natural images. This correlation can be reduced using color-opponent representations, but the spatial structure of regions with small color differences is not fully captured in two generic Red-Green and Blue-Yellow channels. To overcome these problems, we propose new color coding that is adapted to the specific content of each image. Our proposal is based on two steps: (a) setting the number of channels to the number of distinctive colors we find in each image (avoiding the problem of channel correlation), and (b) building a channel representation that maximizes contrast differences within each color channel (avoiding the problem of low local contrast). We call this approach more-than-three color coding (MTT) to emphasize the fact that the number of channels is adapted to the image content. The higher the color complexity of an image, the more channels can be used to represent it. Here we select distinctive colors as the most predominant in the image, which we call color pivots, and we build the new color coding strategy using these color pivots as a basis. To evaluate the proposed approach, we measure the efficiency in an image categorization task. We show how a generic descriptor improves performance at the description level when applied to the MTT coding.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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