Metamer Mismatching in Practice versus Theory

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Xiandou Zhang, Brian Funt, and Hamidreza Mirzaei, "Metamer mismatching in practice versus theory," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 33, A238-A247 (2016)

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Metamer mismatching (the phenomenon that two objects matching in color under one illuminant may not match under a different illuminant) potentially has important consequences for color perception. Logvinenko et al. [PLoS ONE 10, e0135029 (2015)] show that in theory the extent of metamer mismatching can be very significant. This paper examines metamer mismatching in practice by computing the volumes of the empirical metamer mismatch bodies and comparing them to the volumes of the theoretical mismatch bodies. A set of more than 25 million unique reflectance spectra is assembled using datasets from several sources. For a given color signal (e.g., CIE XYZ) recorded under a given first illuminant, its empirical metamer mismatch body for a change to a second illuminant is computed as follows: the reflectances having the same color signal when lit by the first illuminant (i.e., reflect metameric light) are computationally relit by the second illuminant, and the convex hull of the resulting color signals then defines the empirical metamer mismatch body. The volume of these bodies is shown to vary systematically with Munsell value and chroma. The empirical mismatch bodies are compared to the theoretical mismatch bodies computed using the algorithm of Logvinenko et al. [IEEE Trans. Image Process. 23, 34 (2014)]. There are three key findings: (1) the empirical bodies are found to be substantially smaller than the theoretical ones; (2) the sizes of both the empirical and theoretical bodies show a systematic variation with Munsell value and chroma; and (3) applied to the problem of color-signal prediction, the centroid of the empirical metamer mismatch body is shown to be a better predictor of what a given color signal might become under a specified illuminant than state-of-the-art methods.

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Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
National Science and Technology Support Program of China