Color constancy from invariant wavelength ratios. II

The nonspectral and global mechanisms

Ralph W. Pridmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Given the spectral mechanism of color constancy (Part I of this series), the remaining nonspectral mechanism is formulated here in Part II by the constraint of correlation with known spectral illuminant–invariant functions, i.e., invariant wavelength ratios between constant hues, which plot straight parallel lines in the plane of wavelength and reciprocal illuminant color temperature (MK 21). The same is assumed to apply to nonspectral constant hues in the same plane and dominant wavelength scale extended to cover the nonspectrals (see accompanying article ‘‘Relative wavelength metric for the complete hue cycle .. .’’). To simplify analysis, stimuli are optimal aperture colors; their monochromatic stimuli lie between 442 and 613 nm, common boundaries with optimal compound stimuli (nonspectrals). It is shown that the wavelengths and invariant ratios of spectral constant hues can be formulated exactly (60.5%) from the ratios of an harmonic period, which shifts wavelength with MK21. The formula implies this color-constant hue cycle is isomorphic across illuminants and allows prediction of nonspectral constant hues. To identify these colorimetrically, their spectral complementary wavelengths are specified for various illuminants. This completes the global color constancy mechanism for the illuminant color temperature range 2800 to 25,000 K.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-144
Number of pages11
JournalColor Research and Application
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • color constancy
  • chromatic adaptation
  • complementary colors
  • hue cycle

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