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Fuzzy clustering for colour reduction in images

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The aim of colour quantisation is to reduce the number of distinct colour in images while preserving a high colour fidelity as compared to the original images. The choice of a good colour palette is crucial as it directly determines the quality of the resulting image. Colour quantisation can also be seen as a clustering problem where the task is to identify those clusters that best represent the colours in an image. In this paper we investigate the performance of various fuzzy c-means clustering algorithms for colour quantisation of images. In particular, we use conventional fuzzy c-means as well as some more efficient variants thereof, namely fast fuzzy c-means with random sampling, fast generalised fuzzy c-means, and a recently introduced anisotropic mean shift based fuzzy c-means algorithm. Experimental results show that fuzzy c-means performs significantly better than other, purpose built colour quantisation algorithms, and also confirm that the fast fuzzy clustering algorithms provide similar quantisation results to the full conventional fuzzy c-means approach.

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Correspondence to Gerald Schaefer.

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Schaefer, G., Zhou, H. Fuzzy clustering for colour reduction in images. Telecommun Syst 40, 17–25 (2009).

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