Comparison of Colour Difference Methods for Natural Images

Henri Kivinen, Mikko Nuutinen, Pirkko Oittinen
Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Finland
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Perceptual colour difference in simple colour patches has been extensively studied in the history of colour science. However, these methods are not assumed to be applicable for predicting the perceived colour difference in complex colour patches such as digital images of complex scene. In this work existing metrics that predict the perceived colour difference in digital images of complex scene are studied and compared. Performance evaluation was based on the correlations between values of the metrics and results of subjective tests that were done as a pair comparison, in which fifteen test participants evaluated the subjective colour differences in digital images.

The test image set consisted of eight images each having four versions of distortion generated by applying different ICC profiles. According to results, none of the ©2010 Society for Imaging xxviii Science and Technology metrics were able to predict the perceived colour difference in every test image. The results of iCAM metric had the highest average correlation for all images. However, the scatter of the judgements was very high for two of the images, and if these were excluded from the comparison the Hue-angle was the best performing metric. It was also noteworthy that the performance of the CIELAB colour difference metric was relatively high.