20 March 2014 Perceptual uniformity of commonly used color spaces
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Abstract
Use of color images in medical imaging has increased significantly the last few years. Color information is essential for applications such as ophthalmology, dermatology and clinical photography. Use of color at least brings benefits for other applications such as endoscopy, laparoscopy and digital pathology. Remarkably, as of today, there is no agreed standard on how color information needs to be visualized for medical applications. This lack of standardization results in large variability of how color images are visualized and it makes quality assurance a challenge. For this reason FDA and ICC recently organized a joint summit on color in medical imaging (CMI). At this summit, one of the suggestions was that modalities such as digital pathology could benefit from using a perceptually uniform color space (T. Kimpe, “Color Behavior of Medical Displays,” CMI presentation, May 2013). Perceptually uniform spaces have already been used for many years in the radiology community where the DICOM GSDF standard provides linearity in luminance but not in color behavior. In this paper we quantify perceptual uniformity, using CIE’s ΔE2000 as a color distance metric, of several color spaces that are typically used for medical applications. We applied our method to theoretical color spaces Gamma 1.8, 2.0, & 2.2, standard sRGB, and DICOM (correction LUT for gray applied to all primaries). In addition, we also measured color spaces (i.e., native behavior) of a high-end medical display (Barco Coronis Fusion 6MP DL, MDCC-6130), and a consumer display (Dell 1907FP). Our results indicate that sRGB & the native color space on the Barco Coronis Fusion exhibit the least non-uniformity within their group. However, the remaining degree of perceptual non-uniformity is still significant and there is room for improvement.
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Ali Avanaki, Kathryn Espig, Tom Kimpe, Albert Xthona, Cedric Marchessoux, Johan Rostang, Bastian Piepers, "Perceptual uniformity of commonly used color spaces", Proc. SPIE 9041, Medical Imaging 2014: Digital Pathology, 90410V (20 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2043524; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2043524
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