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Journal of Electronic Imaging

Assessing information content in color images
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Paper Abstract

The Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence, which is a fundamental concept in information theory used to quantify probability density differences, is employed in assessing the color content of digital images. For this purpose, digital images are encoded in the CIELAB color space and modeled as discrete random fields, which are assumed to be described sufficiently by 3-D probability density functions. Subsequently, using the KL divergence, a global quality assessment of an image is presented as the information content of the CIELAB encoding of the image relative to channel capacity. This is expressed by an image with "maximum realizable color information" (MRCI), which we define. Additionally, 1-D estimates of the marginal distributions in luminance, chroma, and hue are explored, and the proposed quality assessment is examined relative to KL divergences based on these distributions. The proposed measure is tested using various color images, pseudocolor representations and different renderings of the same scene. Test images and a MATLAB implementation of the measure are available online at

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2005
PDF: 10 pages
J. Electron. Imag. 14(4) 043007 doi: 10.1117/1.2137641
Published in: Journal of Electronic Imaging Volume 14, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Vassilis Tsagaris, Univ. of Patras (Greece)
Vassilis Anastassopoulos, Univ. of Patras (Greece)

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