Color constancy from invariant wavelength ratios. III

Chromatic adaptation theory, model and tests

Ralph W. Pridmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


A theory of chromatic adaptation is derived from Parts I and II, and presented in terms of relative wavelength, purity, and radiant power, leading directly to a predictive model of corresponding hue, chroma, and lightness. Considering that even simple animals have effective color vision and color constancy, the aim was to develop a simple model of complete adaptation. The model is tested against well-known data sets for corresponding colors in illuminants D65, D50, and A, and for small and large visual fields, and performs comparably to CIECAM02. Constant hue is predicted from Part I’s mechanism of color constancy from invariant wavelength ratios, where constant hues shift wavelength linearly with reciprocal illuminant color temperature. Constant chroma is predicted from constant colorimetric purity. Constant lightness is predicted from chromatic adaptation of spectral sensitivity represented by power ratios of complementary colors (rather than cone responses which lack spectral sharpening). This model is the first of its type and is not formatted for ease of computation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-442
Number of pages18
JournalColor Research and Application
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • chromatic adaptation
  • color appearance models
  • color constancy

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