Best Paper Award for Computing Science's Brian Funt

May 09, 2012

If you’ve ever been stranded in a clothing store, struggling to decide whether the sweater you’ve just picked up is black or navy, you’ll understand the principle behind the award-winning paper co-authored by Brian Funt, professor of Computing Science at SFU. Funt presented the paper, “Metamer Mismatch Volumes, ” at the 2012 Colour in Graphics Imagine and Vision Conference in Amsterdam, capturing the best paper award for himself and his co-authors, Alexander Logvinenko, of the Glasgow Caledonian University and Christoph Godau, a MSc student visiting SFU from France.

The paper is the first to give a specific answer to a long-standing question in colour science: how much can a given colour seen under one light change when viewed under another light? Funt explains, “Most people have experienced the change in colour that lighting can produce when, for example, buying clothes at a store under one kind of light and then finding they look quite different at home. The theoretical issue is to establish the limits of the possible colour change that could possibly be observed when the light changes."

The research described in the award-winning paper has multiple practical applications: it is key in the design of digital camera sensors, and can be used to measure the quality of new lighting systems.  Funt’s ongoing research involves treating human colour perception as an algorithmic process; his work has contributed to better colour in digital cameras and improved colour-based object recognition in robotics.

Alexander Logvinenko is a research professor in School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, whose research deals with visual perception, psychophysics, colour vision, and mathematical modeling of visual processes. Christoph Godau worked with Funt for six months as part of the European Erasmus CIMET (Color in Informatics and Media Technology) program; Godau is currently a research engineer at the Center for Mathematical Morphology in Paris, and is working on his PhD thesis in morphological image analysis.

The Colour in Graphics Imaging and Vision Conference is held every two years in Europe, and is sponsored by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. This year’s conference was held in Amersterdamn, Netherlands on May 6-9, 2012.