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Proceedings Paper

The dark side of CIELAB
Author(s): Gaurav Sharma; Carlos Eduardo Rodríguez-Pardo
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Paper Abstract

Standardized in 1976 as a uniform color space, CIELAB is extensively utilized in color science and engineering applications. CIELAB provides both a color difference formula and correlates for common perceptual descriptors of color. Deficiencies in both areas are well-known, and based on these known limitations, numerous fixes have been developed yielding alternative color difference formulae that are derived as modifications of the color difference in CIELAB. In addition, several new color appearance spaces have also been proposed as modifications of the basic CIELAB framework. In this paper, we point out other, lesser-known and poorly-appreciated, limitations of CIELAB that occur particularly in the dark regions of color space. We demonstrate via examples, how these limitations not only cause performance compromises but lead to fundamental breakdowns in system optimization and design problems, making CIELAB unusable in these problems. We consider the reasons why these fundamental limitations were overlooked in the original development of CIELAB and analyze the mathematical representations contributing to the undesired behavior. We argue that fundamental new research is required to overcome this dark side of CIELAB; the development of uniform color spaces and new color appearance spaces must be revisited afresh using new experimental data and keeping in mind newer devices and applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 January 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8292, Color Imaging XVII: Displaying, Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications, 82920D (24 January 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.909960
Show Author Affiliations
Gaurav Sharma, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Carlos Eduardo Rodríguez-Pardo, Univ. of Rochester (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8292:
Color Imaging XVII: Displaying, Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications
Reiner Eschbach; Gabriel G. Marcu; Alessandro Rizzi, Editor(s)

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