A high quality color imaging system for computerized tongue image analysis

Xingzheng Wang, Dapeng Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


In order to improve the quality and consistency of tongue images acquired by current imaging devices, this research aims to develop a novel imaging system which records human tongue information faithfully and precisely for medical analysis. A thorough demand analysis is firstly conducted to summarize requirements for reliable rendering of all possible medical clues, i.e., color, texture and geometric features. Then a series of system design criteria are illustrated accordingly, and by following them, three hardware modules of the imaging system, including illuminant, lighting path and imaging camera, are optimally proposed. Moreover, one built-in software module, the color correction process, is also provided to compensate color variations caused by system components. Finally, several important performance indicators, including illumination uniformity, system reproducibility and accuracy, are elaborately tested. Experimental results show that captured images are in high quality and keep stable when acquisitions are repeated. The largest color difference between any two acquired images is 1.6532, which is hardly to be distinguished by human observation. Compared to existing devices, the proposed system could provide much more accurate and stable solution for tongue image acquisition. Besides, this developed imaging system has been evaluated by doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine for almost three years and over 9,000 tongue images have been collected, analysis results based these data also validate the effectiveness of the proposed system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5854-5866
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2013


  • Color imaging system
  • Computerized tongue image analysis
  • Precise color correction
  • Standard illumination
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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