The White-Patch method, one of the very first colour constancy methods, estimates the illuminant colour from the maximum response of three colour channels. However, this simple method has been superseded by advanced physical, statistical and learning based colour constancy methods. Recently, a few research works have suggested that the simple idea of using maximum pixel values is not as limited an idea as it seems on first glance. These works show that in several situations some manipulations can indeed made it perform very well. Here, we extend the White-Patch assumption to include any of: white patch, highlights or light source; let us refer to these pixels in an image as the “bright” pixels areas. We propose that bright pixels are surprisingly helpful in the illumination estimation process.In this paper, we investigate the effects of bright pixels on several current colour constancy algorithms. Moreover, we describe a simple framework for an illumination estimation method based on bright pixels and compare its accuracy to well-known colour constancy algorithms applied to four standard datasets. We also investigate failure and success cases, using bright pixels, and propose desiderata on input images with regard to the proposed method.
Hamid Reza Vaezi Joze, Mark S. Drew, Graham D. Finlayson, Perla Aurora Troncoso Rey, "The Role of Bright Pixels in Illumination Estimation" in Proc. IS&T 20th Color and Imaging Conf., 2012, pp 41 - 46, https://doi.org/10.2352/CIC.2012.20.1.art00008