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Similarity of Color Images

M. Stricker and M. Orengo
Storage and Retrieval for Image and Video Databases III
February 1995


We describe two new color indexing techniques. The first one is a more robust version of the commonly used color histogram indexing. In the index we store the cumulative color histograms. The L_1-, L_2-, or L_infty-distance between two cumulative color histograms can be used to define a similarity measure of these two color distributions. We show that while this method produces only slightly better results than color histogram methods, it is more robust with respect to the quantization parameter of the histograms. The second technique is an example of a new approach to color indexing. Instead of storing the complete color distributions, the index contains only their dominant features. We implement this approach by storing the first three moments of each color channel of an image in the index, i.e., for a HSV image we store only 9 floating point numbers per image. The similarity function which is used for the retrieval is a weighted sum of the absolute differences between corresponding moments. Our tests clearly demonstrate that a retrieval based on this technique produces better results and runs faster than the histogram-based methods.

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  author = {M. Stricker and M. Orengo},
  title = {Similarity of Color Images},
  booktitle = {Storage and Retrieval for Image and Video Databases III},
  year = {1995},
  month = {February},
  pages = {381-392},
  volume = {2420},
  series = {SPIE PUBL_Proceedings Series},
  keywords = {image indexing, color, database}