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Face Recognition: The Problem of Compensating for Changes in Illumination Direction
July 1997 (vol. 19 no. 7)
pp. 721-732

Abstract—A face recognition system must recognize a face from a novel image despite the variations between images of the same face. A common approach to overcoming image variations because of changes in the illumination conditions is to use image representations that are relatively insensitive to these variations. Examples of such representations are edge maps, image intensity derivatives, and images convolved with 2D Gabor-like filters. Here we present an empirical study that evaluates the sensitivity of these representations to changes in illumination, as well as viewpoint and facial expression. Our findings indicated that none of the representations considered is sufficient by itself to overcome image variations because of a change in the direction of illumination. Similar results were obtained for changes due to viewpoint and expression. Image representations that emphasized the horizontal features were found to be less sensitive to changes in the direction of illumination. However, systems based only on such representations failed to recognize up to 20 percent of the faces in our database. Humans performed considerably better under the same conditions. We discuss possible reasons for this superiority and alternative methods for overcoming illumination effects in recognition.

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Index Terms:
Face recognition, compensating for illumination, edge representation, 2D Gabor-like filter, image comparison.
Yael Adini, Yael Moses, Shimon Ullman, "Face Recognition: The Problem of Compensating for Changes in Illumination Direction," IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 721-732, July 1997, doi:10.1109/34.598229
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