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Open Access Research

Outdoor shadow detection by combining tricolor attenuation and intensity

Jiandong Tian*, Linlin Zhu and Yandong Tang

Author Affiliations

State Key Laboratory of Robotics, Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanta Road, Shenyang, China

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EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing 2012, 2012:116  doi:10.1186/1687-6180-2012-116

Published: 28 May 2012


Shadow detection is of broad interest in computer vision. In this article, a new shadow detection method for single color images in outdoor scenes is proposed. Shadows attenuate pixel intensity, and the degrees of attenuation are different in the three RGB color channels. Previously, we proposed the Tricolor Attenuation Model (TAM) that describes the attenuation relationship between shadows and their non-shadow backgrounds in the three color channels. TAM can provide strong information on shadow detection; however, our previous study needs a rough segmentation as the pre-processing step and requires four thresholds. These shortcomings can be overcome by adding intensity information. This article addresses the problem of how to combine TAM and intensity and meanwhile to obtain a threshold for shadow segmentation. Simple and complicated shadow images are used to test the proposed method. The experimental results and comparisons validate its effectiveness.

shadow detection; tricolor attenuation model (TAM); intensity image