Abstract

We use World Color Survey (WCS) data to design quantitative methods to study color categorization, with the focus on the “geometric” properties of categories, in particular, on studying their shape, and creating a consistent methodology to identify category boundaries. We introduce the notion of “No Man’s Land” and “Some Man’s Land” to distinguish color chips that belong to no color category and those that belong to some color category. We introduce a “color-stimulus-strength” function that characterizes color boundaries. While categories may come in a variety of shapes, and their boundaries are nonuniform and can vary in thickness, there are universal patterns that emerge. For example, the boundary-to-category-mass ratio is a decreasing function of category strength (i.e., stronger categories have relatively thinner boundaries), and boundary mass obeys a “square root”-like law as a function of category mass (i.e., roughly speaking, color categories behave like 2D circles). We further identify a relationship between color boundaries and Shannon’s entropy, which can be calculated by using the field data of the WCS. We find that depending on the informational content of a given chip, it can belong to three distinct types: (I) strongly belonging to a color category; (II) belonging to a boundary between two or more categories; (III) not belonging to a category or a boundary. The last two cases can be interpreted in terms of evolution and temporal dynamics of color categories.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
OSA Recommended Articles
Quantitative approach for defining basic color terms and color category best exemplars

Nicole Fider, Louis Narens, Kimberly A. Jameson, and Natalia L. Komarova
J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 34(8) 1285-1300 (2017)

Further evolution of natural categorization systems: an approach to evolving color concepts

Maryam Gooyabadi, Kirbi Joe, and Louis Narens
J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 36(2) 159-172 (2019)

“Clothed in triple blues”: sorting out the Italian blues

David Bimler and Mari Uusküla
J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 31(4) A332-A340 (2014)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (26)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Tables (4)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article tables are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (11)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription