Design and optimization of color lookup tables on a simplex topology

Vishal Monga, Raja Bala, Xuan Mo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An important computational problem in color imaging is the design of color transforms that map color between devices or from a device-dependent space (e.g., RGB/CMYK) to a device-independent space (e.g., CIELAB) and vice versa. Real-time processing constraints entail that such nonlinear color transforms be implemented using multidimensional lookup tables (LUTs). Furthermore, relatively sparse LUTs (with efficient interpolation) are employed in practice because of storage and memory constraints. This paper presents a principled design methodology rooted in constrained convex optimization to design color LUTs on a simplex topology. The use of n simplexes, i.e., simplexes in n dimensions, as opposed to traditional lattices, recently has been of great interest in color LUT design for simplex topologies that allow both more analytically tractable formulations and greater efficiency in the LUT. In this framework of n-simplex interpolation, our central contribution is to develop an elegant iterative algorithm that jointly optimizes the placement of nodes of the color LUT and the output values at those nodes to minimize interpolation error in an expected sense. This is in contrast to existing work, which exclusively designs either node locations or the output values. We also develop new analytical results for the problem of node location optimization, which reduces to constrained optimization of a large but sparse interpolation matrix in our framework. We evaluate our n -simplex color LUTs against the state-of-the-art lattice (e.g., International Color Consortium profiles) and simplex-based techniques for approximating two representative multidimensional color transforms that characterize a CMYK xerographic printer and an RGB scanner, respectively. The results show that color LUTs designed on simplexes offer very significant benefits over traditional lattice-based alternatives in improving color transform accuracy even with a much smaller number of nodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6093966
Pages (from-to)1981-1996
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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