The apparent color of an object within a scene depends on the spectrum of the light illuminating the object. However, recording an object’s color independent of the illuminant spectrum is important in many machine vision applications. In this paper the performance of a blackbody-model-based color constancy algorithm that requires four sensors with different spectral responses is investigated under daylight illumination. In this investigation sensor noise was modeled as Gaussian noise, and the responses were quantized using different numbers of bits. A projection-based algorithm whose output is invariant to illuminant is investigated to improve the results that are obtained. The performance of both of these algorithms is then improved by optimizing the spectral sensitivities of the four sensors using freely available CIE standard daylight spectra and a set of lightness-normalized Munsell reflectance data. With the optimized sensors the performance of both algorithms is shown to be comparable to the human visual system. However, results obtained with measured daylight spectra show that the standard daylights may not be sufficiently representative of measured daylight for optimization with the standard daylight to lead to a reliable set of optimum sensor characteristics.
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