Evaluation of image similarity by histogram intersection

S. M. Lee, John Haozhong Xin, Stephen Westland

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Colour is the most widely used attribute in image retrieval and object recognition. A technique known as histogram intersection has been widely studied and is considered to be effective for color-image indexing. The key issue of this algorithm is the selection of an appropriate color space and optimal quantization of the selected color space. The goal of this article is to measure the model performance in predicting human judgment in similarity measurement for various images, to explore the capability of the model with a wide set of color spaces, and to find the optimal quantization of the selected color spaces. Six color spaces and twelve quantization levels are involved in evaluating the performance of histogram intersection. The categorical judgment and rank order experiments were conducted to measure image similarity. The CIELAB color space was found to perform at least as good as or better than the other color spaces tested, and the ability to predict image similarity increased with the number of bins used in the histograms, for up to 512 bins (8 per channel). With more than 512 bins, further improvement was negligible for the image datasets used in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalColor Research and Application
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • Color imaging
  • Histograms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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