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25 April 2007 Local adaptive contrast enhancement for color images
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A camera or display usually has a smaller dynamic range than the human eye. For this reason, objects that can be detected by the naked eye may not be visible in recorded images. Lighting is here an important factor; improper local lighting impairs visibility of details or even entire objects. When a human is observing a scene with different kinds of lighting, such as shadows, he will need to see details in both the dark and light parts of the scene. For grey value images such as IR imagery, algorithms have been developed in which the local contrast of the image is enhanced using local adaptive techniques. In this paper, we present how such algorithms can be adapted so that details in color images are enhanced while color information is retained. We propose to apply the contrast enhancement on color images by applying a grey value contrast enhancement algorithm to the luminance channel of the color signal. The color coordinates of the signal will remain the same. Care is taken that the saturation change is not too high. Gamut mapping is performed so that the output can be displayed on a monitor. The proposed technique can for instance be used by operators monitoring movements of people in order to detect suspicious behavior. To do this effectively, specific individuals should both be easy to recognize and track. This requires optimal local contrast, and is sometimes much helped by color when tracking a person with colored clothes. In such applications, enhanced local contrast in color images leads to more effective monitoring.
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Judith Dijk, Richard J. M. den Hollander, John G. M. Schavemaker, and Klamer Schutte "Local adaptive contrast enhancement for color images", Proc. SPIE 6575, Visual Information Processing XVI, 65750A (25 April 2007);

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