Evaluation of quality measures for color quantization

Giuliana Ramella

Visual quality evaluation is one of the challenging basic problems in image processing. It also plays a central role in the shaping, implementation, optimization, and testing of many methods. The existing image quality assessment methods focused on images corrupted by common degradation types while little attention was paid to color quantization. This in spite there is a wide range of applications requiring color quantization assessment being used as a preprocessing step when color-based tasks are more efficiently accomplished on a reduced number of colors. In this paper, we propose and carry-out a quantitative performance evaluation of nine well-known and commonly used full-reference image quality assessment measures. The evaluation is done by using two publicly available and subjectively rated image quality databases for color quantization degradation and by considering suitable combinations or subparts of them. The results indicate the quality measures that have closer performances in terms of their correlation to the subjective human rating and show that the evaluation of the statistical performance of the quality measures for color quantization is significantly impacted by the selected image quality database while maintaining a similar trend on each database. The detected strong similarity both on individual databases and on databases obtained by integration provides the ability to validate the integration process and to consider the quantitative performance evaluation on each database as an indicator for performance on the other databases. The experimental results are useful to address the choice of suitable quality measures for color quantization and to improve their future employment.

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