To correct an over-exposure within an image, the over-exposed region (OER) must first be detected. Detecting the OER accurately has a significant effect on the performance of the over-exposure correction. However, the results of conventional OER detection methods, which generally use the brightness and color information of each pixel, often deviate from the actual OER perceived by the human eye. To overcome this problem, in this paper, we propose a novel method for detecting the perceived OER more accurately. Based on the observation that recognizing the OER in an image is dependent on the saturation sensitivity of the human visual system (HVS), we detect the OER by thresholding the saturation value of each pixel. Here, a function of the proposed method, which is designed based on the results of a subjective evaluation on the saturation sensitivity of the HVS, adaptively determines the saturation threshold value using the color and the perceived brightness of each pixel. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method accurately detects the perceived OER, and furthermore, the over-exposure correction can be improved by adopting the proposed OER detection method.
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