Open Access

Red-Eyes Removal through Cluster-Based Boosting on Gray Codes

  • Sebastiano Battiato1,
  • Giovanni Maria Farinella1Email author,
  • Mirko Guarnera2,
  • Giuseppe Messina2 and
  • Daniele Ravì1
EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing20102010:909043

DOI: 10.1155/2010/909043

Received: 26 March 2010

Accepted: 29 July 2010

Published: 11 August 2010


Since the large diffusion of digital camera and mobile devices with embedded camera and flashgun, the redeyes artifacts have de facto become a critical problem. The technique herein described makes use of three main steps to identify and remove red eyes. First, red-eye candidates are extracted from the input image by using an image filtering pipeline. A set of classifiers is then learned on gray code features extracted in the clustered patches space and hence employed to distinguish between eyes and non-eyes patches. Specifically, for each cluster the gray code of the red-eyes candidate is computed and some discriminative gray code bits are selected employing a boosting approach. The selected gray code bits are used during the classification to discriminate between eye versus non-eye patches. Once red-eyes are detected, artifacts are removed through desaturation and brightness reduction. Experimental results on a large dataset of images demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed pipeline that outperforms other existing solutions in terms of hit rates maximization, false positives reduction, and quality measure.

1. Introduction

Red-eye artifact is caused by the flash light reflected off a person's retina (see Figure 1). This effect often occurs when the flash light is very close to the camera lens, as in most compact imaging devices. To reduce these artifacts, most cameras have a red-eye flash mode which fires a series of preflashes prior to picture capturing. Rapid preflashes cause pupil contraction, thus, minimizing the area of reflection; it does not completely eliminate the red-eye effect though it reduces it. The major disadvantage of the preflash approach is power consumption (e.g., flash is the most power-consuming device of the camera). Besides, repeated flashes usually cause uncomfortable feeling.
Figure 1

Flash-gun light cone generated by reflection off the retina. If the angle α, representing the cone size, is greater than the angle β, between the camera lens and the flash-gun, then the red-eye artifact comes out.

Alternatively, red eyes can be detected after photo acquisition. Some photo-editing software makes use of red-eye removal tools which require considerable user interaction. To overcome this problem, different techniques have been proposed in literature (see [1, 2] for recent reviews in the field). Due to the growing interest of industry, many automatic algorithms, embedded on commercial software, have been patented in the last decade [3]. The huge variety of approaches has permitted to explore different aspects of red-eyes identification and correction. The big challenge now is to obtain the best results with the minor number of visual errors.

In this paper, an advanced pipeline for red-eyes detection and correction is discussed. In the first stage, candidates rede-yes patches are extracted from the input image through an image filtering pipeline. This process is mainly based on a statistical color model technique coupled with geometrical constraints. In the second stage, a multimodal classifier, obtained by using clustering and boosting on gray codes features, is used to distinguish between true red-eyes patches versus other patches. Once the red eyes are detected, a correction technique based on desaturation and brightness reduction is employed to remove the red-eyes artifact. The proposed approach has been compared with respect to existing solutions on proper collected dataset, obtaining competitive results. One of the main contributions of the present work is to demonstrate that better results are achieved if the multimodally nature of candidates red-eyes as well as the spatial information during classification task are taken into account. To this aim, we have compared the proposed cluster-based boosting, to standard boosting in both cases, with and without considering spatial information.

The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 gives an overview of related works. Section 3 provides details of the proposed red-eyes removal pipeline. Section 4 illustrates the experimental settings and the results obtained using the presented technique. Finally, Section 5 concludes this paper with avenues for further research.

2. Related Works

Several studies have considered the problem of automatic red-eyes removal. A pioneering technique for automatic red-eye reduction was proposed by Patti et al. [4]. The technique uses a nonstandard luminance-chrominance representation to enhance the regions affected by the red-eye artifacts. After the detection of an interesting block, thresholding operation and a simple color replacement pipeline are employed to remove the red eyes.

Battiato et al. [5] have proposed to deal with the problem of red eye detection by using the bag-of-keypoints paradigm. It involves extraction of local image features, quantization of the feature space into a codebook through clustering, and extraction of codeword distribution histograms. An SVM classifier has been used to decide to which class each histogram, thus each patch, belongs.

Gaubatz and Ulichney [6] proposed to apply a face detector as first stage and then search for the eyes in the candidate face regions by using constraints based on colors, red variance, and glint. One of the drawbacks of such method is the robustness with respect to the multimodality of the face space with respect to poses (e.g., not always frontal and upright). The redness of detected red eyes is attenuated with a tapered color desaturation process.

Schildkraut and Gray [7] used an automatic algorithm to detect pairs of eyes, which is restricted to near-frontal face images. The pair verification technique was used to reduce false positive. However, many photos have single redeyes (e.g., face partially screened) that cannot be corrected with this approach. Detected red eyes are removed blending the corrected region with the neighborhood in order to preserve the natural appearance of the eyes. Building on [7], a combination of boosting classifiers has been proposed by Ioffe [8]. Specifically, a boosting classifier was used to discriminate between red-eyes versus other, and another boosting classifier was used to detect faces in order to reduce the false positives.

A two-stage algorithm was described by Zhang [9]. At the first stage, red pixels are grouped, and a cascade of heuristic algorithms to deal with color, size, and highlight is used to decide whether the grouped region is red eye or not. At the second stage, candidate red-eyes regions are checked by using Adaboost classifier. Though highlight is useful for red-eyes detection, some red eye with no highlight region may occur when the eye direction does not face toward the camera/flash light. Artifacts are corrected through brightness and contrast adjustment followed by blending operation.

Luo et al. [10] proposed an algorithm that first uses square concentric templates to assess the candidate red-eye regions and then employs an Adaboost classifier coupled with a set of adhoc selected Haar-like features for final detection. Multiscale templates are used to deal with the scale of red-eyes patches. For each scale, a thresholding process has been used to determine which pixels are likely to be red-eye pixels. The correction process is mainly based on adaptive desaturation over the red-eye regions.

Petschnigg et al. [11] presented a red-eyes detection technique based on changes of pupil color between the ambient image and the flash image. The technique exploits two successive photos taken with and without flash considered into YCbCr space to decorrelate luminance from chrominance. The artifacts are detected by thresholding the differences of the chrominance channels and using geometric constraints to check size and shape of red regions. Detected red eyes are finally corrected through thresholding operation and the color replacement pipeline proposed in [4].

A wide class of techniques make use of geometric constraints to restrict possible red-eye regions in combination with reliable supervised classifiers for decision making. Corcoran et al. [12] proposed an algorithm for real-time detection of flash eye defects in the firmware of a digital camera. The detection algorithm comprises different substeps on Lab color space to segment artifacts regions that are finally analyzed with geometric constraints.

The technique proposed by Volken et al. [13] detects the eye itself by finding the suitable colors and shapes. They use the basic knowledge that an eye is characterized by its shape and the white color of the sclera. Combining this intuitive approach with the detection of "skin" around the eyes, red-eyes artifacts are detected. Correction is made through an adhoc filtering process.

Safonov et al. [14] suggested a supervised approach taking into account color information via 3D tables and edge information via directional edge detection filters. In the classification stage, a cascade of supervised classifiers has been used. The correction consists in conversion of pixel to gray color, darkening and blending with the initial image in the YCbCr color space. The results were evaluated by using an adhoc detection quality criterion.

Alternatively, an unsupervised method to discover red-eye pixels was adopted by Ferman [15]. The analysis is performed primarily in the hue-saturation-value (HSV) color space. A flash mask, used to define the regions where red-eye artifacts may be present, is first extracted from the brightness component. Subsequent processing on the other color components prunes the number of candidate regions that may correspond to red eyes. Though the overall results are satisfactory, this approach is not able to identify red-eyes region outside the flash mask area (i.e.; a very common case).

The methods reviewed above comprise techniques presented in literature in the last decade. Other related approaches are reviewed in [13].

3. Red-Eyes Detection and Correction

The proposed red-eyes removal pipeline uses three main steps to identify and remove red-eyes artifacts. First, candidates red-eyes patches are extracted, then they are they are classified to distinguish between eyes and non-eyes patches. Finally, correction is performed on detected red eyes. The details of the three steps involved in the proposed pipeline are detailed in the following subsections.

3.1. Red Patch Extraction

To extract the red-eyes candidates, we first built a color model from the training set to detect pixels belonging to possible red-eyes artifacts. We constructed red-eye-pixel and non-red-eye-pixel histogram models using a set of pixels of the training images. Specifically, for each image of the training set, the pixels belonging to red-eye artifacts have been labeled as red-eye pixels (REP), whereas the surrounding pixels within windows of fixed size have been labeled as non-red-eye pixels (NREP). The labeled pixels (in both RGB and HSV spaces) have been mapped in a three-dimensional space obtained taking into account the first three principal components of the projection through principal component analysis [16]. By using the principal component analysis, the original six-dimensional space of each pixel, considered in both RGB and HSV color domains, is transformed into a reduced three-dimensional space maintaining as much of the variability in the data as possible. This is useful to reduce the computational complexity related to the space dimensionality. We used a 3D histogram with bins in the space. Since most of the sample pixels of the training set lie within three standard deviations of the mean, each component has been uniformly quantized in 64 values taking into account the range [ , ], where is standard deviation of the principal component (i.e., the eigenvalue). The probability that a given pixel belongs to the classes REP and NREP is computed as follows:
where is the red-eye-pixels count contained in bin of the 3D histogram, is the equivalent count for non-redeye pixels, and are the total counts of red-eye pixels and non-red-eye pixels respectively. We derive a red-eye-pixel classifier through the standard likelihood ratio approach. A pixel is labeled red-eye pixel if

where is a threshold which is adjusted to maximize correct detection and minimize false positives. Note that a pixel is assigned to NREP class when both probabilities are equal to zero.

Employing such filtering, a binary map with the red zones is derived. To remove isolated red pixels, a morphology operation of closing is applied to this map. In our approach, we have used the following structuring element:

Once the closing operation has been accomplished, a search of the connected components is achieved using a simple scanline approach. Each group of connected pixels is analyzed making use of simple geometric constraints. As in [13], the detected regions of connected pixels are classified as possible red-eye candidates if the geometrical constraints of size and roundness are satisfied. Specifically, a region of connected red pixels is classified as possible red-eye candidate if the following constraints are satisfied:

  1. (i)

    the size of the connected region is within the range [ , ], which defines the allowable size for eyes;

  2. (ii)
    the binary roundness constraint of the connected region is verified as follows:


  1. (a)

    is the ratio between the estimated area and the perimeter of the connected region; the more this value is near 1, the more the shape will be similar to a circle;

  2. (b)

    is the distortion of the connected region along the axes;

  3. (c)

    is the filling factor; the more this parameter is near 1, the more the area is filled.


The parameters involved in the aforementioned filtering pipeline have been set through a learning procedure as discussed in Section 4.

In Figure 2, all the involved steps in filtering pipeline are shown. The regions of connected pixels which satisfy the geometrical constraints are used to extract the red-eyes patches candidates from the original input image (Figure 3). The derived patches are resembled to a fixed size (i.e., pixels) and converted into gray code [17] for further classification purpose (Figure 4). Gray code representation allows to have a natural way (e.g., no strong transaction between adjacent values) to pick up the underlying spatial structures of a typical eye.
Figure 2

Filtering pipeline on (a)input image. Input imageRed mapClosing operationFinal candidates

Figure 3

Examples of possible candidates after red patches extraction.

Figure 4

Example of gray code planes on the three RGB channels of a red-eye patch.

The gray levels of an -bit gray-scale image (i.e., a color channel in our case) are represented in the form of the base 2 polynomial
Based on this property, a simple method of decomposing the image into a collection of binary images is to separate the m coefficients of the polynomial into -bit planes. The -bit Gray code related to the polynomial in (5) can be computed as follows:

where denotes the exclusive OR operation. This code has the unique property that successive code words differ only one bit position. Thus, small changes in gray level are less likely to affect all bit planes.

3.2. Red Patch Classification

The main aim of the classification stage is the elimination of false positive red eyes in the set of patches obtained performing the filtering pipeline described in Section 3.1.

At this stage, we deal with a binary classification problem. Specifically, we want to discriminate between eye versus non-eye patches. To this aim, we employ an automatic learning technique to make accurate predictions based on past observations. The approach we use can be summarized as follows: start by gathering as many examples as possible of both eyes and non-eyes patches, next feed these examples, together with labels indicating if they are eyes or not, to a machine-learning algorithm which will automatically produce a classification rule. Given a new unlabeled patch, such a rule attempts to predict if it is eye or not.

Building a rule that makes highly accurate predictions on new test examples is a challenging task. However, it is not hard to come up with rough weak classifiers that are only moderately accurate. An example of such a rule for the problem under consideration is something like the following: "If the pixel located in the sclera region of the patch under consideration is not white, then predict it is non-eye". In this case, such a rule is related to the knowledge that the white region corresponding to the sclera should be present in an eye patch. On the other hand, such a rule will cover all possible non-eyes cases; for instance, it is correct to say nothing about what to predict if the pixel is white. Of course, this rule will make predictions that are significantly better than random guessing. The key idea is to find many weak classifiers and combine them in a proper way deriving a single strong classifier.

Among other, Boosting [1820] is one of the most popular procedures for combining the performance of weak classifiers in order to achieve a better classifier. We use a boosting procedure on patches represented as gray codes to build a strong classifier useful to distinguish between eye and non-eye patches. Specifically, boosting is used to select the positions corresponding to n gray code bits that best discriminate between the classes eye versus non-eye, together with -associated weak classifiers of the following form:
where is the gray code vector ( ) of size corresponding to a patch extracted as described in the previous section. The parameters and are automatically learned by Gentleboost procedure [18] as explained in Section 3.3. The classification is obtained considering the sign of the learned additive model as follows:

where   indicates the number of weak classifiers involved in the strong classifiers .

The rationale beyond the use of gray code representation is the following. In the gray code space, just a subset of all possible bit combinations is related to the eyes patches. We wish to select those bits that usually differ in terms of binary value between eye and non-eye patches. Moreover, by using gray code representation rather than classic bit planes decomposition, we reduce the impact of small changes in intensity of patches that could produce significant variations in the corresponding binary code [17].

In Figure 5, an example of gray code bits selected with Gentleboost procedure is reported. Selected bits are shown as black or white points on the different gray code planes. This map indicates that a red-eye patch should have 1 in the position coloured in white and 0 in the positions colored in black. Once gray code bits and the corresponding weak classifiers parameters are learned, a new patch can be classified by using the sign of (8).
Figure 5

Selected gray code bits.

The approach described above does not take into account spatial relationship between selected gray code bits. Spatial information is useful to make the classification task stronger (e.g., pupil is surrounded of sclera). To overcome this problem we coupled the gray codes bits selected at the first learning stage using xor operator to obtain a new set of binary features. We randomly select a subset containing of these features and performed a second round of Gentleboost procedure to select the most discriminative spatial relationship among the randomly selected. This new classifier is combined with the one learned previously to perform final eye and non-eye patches classification.

Due to the multimodally nature of the patches involved in our problem (i.e., colours, orientation, shape, etc.), a single discriminative classifier could fail during classification task. To get through this weakness, we propose to perform first a clustering of the input space and then apply the two stage boosting approach described above on each cluster. More specifically, during the learning phase, the patches are clustered by using K-means [16] in their original color space producing the subsets of the input patches with the relative prototypes; hence, the two stages of boosting described above are performed on each cluster. During the classification stage, a new patch is first assigned to a cluster according to the closest prototype and then classified taking into account the two additive models properly learned for the cluster under consideration.

Experimental results reported in Section 4 confirm the effectiveness of the proposed strategy.

3.3. Boosting for Binary Classification Exploiting Gray Codes

Boosting provides a way to sequentially fit additive models of the form in (8) optimizing the following cost function [18]:

where is the class label associated to the feature vector g. In this work,   is associated to the eye class whereas  is the label associated to the non-eye class. The cost function in the (9) can be thought as a differentiable upper bound of the misclassification rate [19].

There are many ways to optimize this function. A simple and numerical robust way to optimize this function is called Gentleboost [18]. This version of boosting procedure outperforms other boosting variants for computer vision tasks (e.g., face detection) [21]. In Gentleboost, the optimization of (9) is performed minimizing a weighted squared error at each iteration [22]. Specifically at each iteration I, the strong classifier is updated as where the weak classifier is selected in order to minimize the second-order approximation of the cost function in (9) as follows:
Defining as the weight for the training sample and replacing the expectation with an empirical average over the training data, the optimization reduces in minimizing the weighted squared error as follows:

where is the number of samples in the training set.

The minimization of depends on the specific form of the weak classifiers . Taking into account the binary representation of samples (i.e., the gray code of each patch), in the present proposal we define the weak classifiers as follows:
In each iteration the optimal and for each possible can be obtained through weighted least squares as follows:
The best weak classifier is hence selected in each iteration of the boosting procedure such that the cost of (11) is the lowest as follows:
Finally, before a new iteration the boosting procedure makes the following multiplicative update to the weights corresponding to each training sample:

This update increases the weight of samples which are misclassified (i.e., for which ) and decreases the weight of samples which are correctly classified.

The procedures employed for learning and classification on the proposed representation are summarized in Algorithm 1 and Algorithm 2. In the learning stage, we initialize the weights corresponding to the elements of the training set such that the number of the samples within each class is taken into account. This is done to overcome the problems that can occur due to the unbalanced number of training samples within the considered classes.

Algorithm 1: Learning.

Input: A set of gray code vectors , and corresponding


Output: A strong classifier


















Algorithm 2: Classification.

Input: The strong classifier , and a new gray code sample to be classified

Output: The inferred class




3.4. Red-Eyes Correction

Once the red-eyes have been detected, the correction step is performed. Usually the red-eye artifact consists of a red pupil with a white glint. This area is devoted to absorb light and thus should be dark. To transform the red pupil to a dark region, a desaturation and a brightness reduction is accomplished [1, 2]. The region of connected red pixels is used to fix the area that must be desaturated. To prevent unpleasant transition from the iris to the pupil, red-eye artifact is replaced by a mask with equal dimensions where each value is used as weighted brightness/desaturation reduction factor. The correction mask is based on a fixed point LUT with Gaussian shape (Figure 6). The mask is resized through a bilinear resampling to fit the dimension of the region of connected red pixels under consideration.
Figure 6

Brightness-saturation mask.

Let the channel of a region of interest r within the image I. For each channel the pixels belonging to the region are corrected as follows:

where is a surrounding of the "white" color which can slightly vary in terms of lightness, hue, and saturation. This means that to prevent glint from disappearing only red pixels are desatured (the whitish pixels are excluded from the brightness processing).

4. Experimental Settings and Results

The proposed red-eye removal pipeline has been tested on a dataset of 390 images in which 1049 red eyes have been manually labeled. The dataset has been collected from various sources, including digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, compact cameras, personal collections, and internet photos. Single red eyes, as well as high variability of red-eyes colors, poses, and shapes, have been considered in building the dataset. In order to accurately assess the proposed approach, the size of the eyes to be detected in the collected images must be small enough to ensure that also the smallest red eyes can be detected and corrected. The basic requirement considered in our experimental phase is that the red eyes must be accurately detected and corrected up to three-meter distance from the camera. Table 1 presents the estimated eye sizes, in pixels, for XGA image size ( ), with the assumption that the average eye is directed to the camera. In this paper, the collected images have been considered with an XGA image resolution, and the minimum and maximum estimated pupil diameters (Table 1) have been taken into account in building the dataset for testing purposes.
Table 1

Estimated eye sizes taking into account the distance from the camera.

Distance from the sensor (m)
















Pupil Diameter (pixels)
















For each image of the dataset, the pixels belonging to red eyes artifacts have been manually labeled as red-eye pixels. The parameters , , , , , , , and  involved in the first stage of the proposed approach (see Section 3.1) have been learned taking into account the true and false red-eyes pixels within the labeled dataset. To this aim, a full search procedure on a grid of equispaced points in the eight- dimensional parameters' space was employed. For each point of the grid, the correct detection and false positives rates of the true red-eyes pixels within the dataset were obtained. The tuple of parameters with the best tradeoff between correct detection and the false positives have been used to perform the final filtering pipeline. A similar procedure was employed to determine the subspace of the RGB space involved in the correction step to identify pixels belonging to the glint area.

In order to evaluate the classification performance of the proposed method, the leave-one-out cross validation procedure (LOOCV) has been employed. Each run of LOOCV has involved a single image as test, and the remaining images as training data. This is repeated to guarantee that each input image is used once as test image. At each run of LOOCV, the parameters of the filtering pipeline have been set to maximize correct detection and minimize false positives. At each run of LOOCV, the training images have been clustered, and then the two-stage boosting approach described in Section 3.2 has been performed on each cluster. Seven clusters (Figure 7) and 800 binary features for the additive classifiers corresponding to the clusters have been used on each LOOCV run. The maximum number of iterations used by boosting procedure to obtain the 800 binary features was 1400. The final results have been obtained averaging on the results of the overall LOOCV runs.
Figure 7

Example of clusters prototypes obtained in an LOOCV run.

Taking into account both, the filtering and the classification stages, the hit rate of the proposed red-eyes detector is 83.41%. This means that 875 red eyes have been correctly detected with respect to the 1049 red eyes of the 390 input images whereas only 34 false positives have been introduced. In Figure 8, the training ability increasing the number of bits is shown in terms of Hit Rates (Figure 8(a)) and False Positives (Figure 8(b)).
Figure 8

Performances increasing number of bits. Hit ratesFalse positives

In Figure 9, two examples of misclassified patches are reported, in Figure 9(a), a "golden" eye is depicted (another possible artifact due to similar acquisition problem). The underlying structure in Figure 9(b) is probably the main reason of misclassification.
Figure 9

Examples of misclassified patches. False negativeFalse positive

In order to point out the usefulness of the proposed cluster-based boosting, as well as the usefulness of the spatial relationship introduced by using xor operation on gray codes bits, we have repeated tests considering different configurations. Results reported in Table 2 confirm the effectiveness of the rationale beyond the proposed method.
Table 2

Comparison of different configurations.


Hit Rate

False Positives

Gray Codes



Gray Codes + Clustering



Gray Codes + XOR



Gray Codes + Clustering + XOR



To properly evaluate the overall red-eyes removal pipeline, the qualitative criterion proposed in [14] was adopted to compare the proposed solution with respect to existing automatic solutions. According to [14], we divided False Positive (FP) and False Negative ( ) to distinguish different detection cases as follows:

: critical (e.g., visible on foreground, like faces),

: noncritical (e.g., undistinguishable on foreground),

: mandatory (e.g., red eyes well distinguishable),

: desirable (e.g., small red eyes with low local contrast).

The quality criterion proposed in [14] takes also into account unwanted situation in which the automatic correction is performed on only one eye from pair. The number of faces with one corrected eye from pair of red eyes is indicated with . Regarding correction factors, two cases are distinguished: corrected eyes that look worse of original red eyes ( ) and situations when retouching is noticeable, but it does not irritate strongly ( ). To obtain a unique quality criterion ( ), authors of [14] weighted the aforementioned factors according to observers' opinions as follows:

where is the total number of red eyes within the test dataset.

The proposed pipeline has been compared with respect to the following automatic (mainly commercial) solutions: Volken et al. [13], NikonView V6.2.7, KodakEasyShare V6.4.0, StopRedEye! V1.0, HP RedBot, Arcsoft PhotoPrinter V5, and Cyberlink MediaShow. Experiments have been done using effective commercial software and the implementation of [13] provided by the authors. NikonView approach is mainly based on [12].

As reported in Table 3, the proposed approach has obtained the best performances in terms of both, hit rate and quality criterion. Moreover, the proposed approach outperforms the method we have presented in [23] also in terms of computational complexity. Despite the complete set of images used in the experiments is not publicly available, since most of the photos are taken from private collections, some examples with corresponding results are available at the following web address:
Table 3

Quality score of different red-eyes removal approaches.



Cyberlink MediaShow










Volken et al. [13]










KodakEasyShare V6.4.0










HP RedBot










NikonView V6.2.7










StopRedEye! V1.0










Arcsoft PhotoPrinter V5










Battiato et al. [23]










Proposed Pipeline










4.1. Computational Complexity

To evaluate the complexity, a deep analysis has been performed by running the proposed pipeline on an ARM926EJ-S processor instruction set simulator. We have chosen this specific processor because it is widely used in embedded mobile platforms. The CPU run at 300 MHz and both data and instruction caches have been fixed to 32 KB. The bus clock has been set to 150 MHz, and the memory read/write access time is 9 ns. The algorithm has been implemented using bitwise operators to work on colour maps and fixed- point operations. Due to the dependence of the operations to the number of red clusters found in the image, we have analyzed a midcase, that is an image containing around 40 potential red eye zones, but only 2 of them are real eyes to be corrected.

Table 4 contains a report of the performances of the main steps of the proposed pipeline, assuming to work on an XGA version (scaled) of the image: the redness detection (Color Map), the processing on the generated maps (Morphological Operations), the candidate extraction, the classification step, and finally the correction of the identified eyes. The performances information reported in Table 4 is related to the following computational resources.

  1. (i)

    Instructions: counts the executed ARM instructions.

  2. (ii)

    Core cycles: core clock ticks needed to make the Instructions.

  3. (iii)

    Data (D$): Read/Write Hits and Misses, cache memory hits and misses.

  4. (iv)

    Seq and Nonseq: sequential and nonsequential memory accesses.

  5. (v)

    Idle: represents bus cycles when the instruction bus and the data bus are idle, that is, when the processor is running.

  6. (vi)

    Busy: counts busy bus cycles, that is, when the data are transferred from the memory into the cache.

  7. (vii)

    Wait States: the number of bus cycles introduced when waiting for accessing the RAM (is an indicator of the impact of memory latencies).

  8. (viii)

    Total: is the total number of cycles required by the specific function, expressed in terms of bus cycles.

  9. (ix)

    Milliseconds: time required by the specific function expressed in milliseconds.

Table 4

Performances of the main steps of the proposed pipeline.


Color Map

Morphological Operations

Candidate Extraction









Core cycles






D$ R Hits






D$ W Hits






D$ R Misses






D$ W Misses
























Wait states


















The overall time achieved on this midcase is 326 ms. The table highlights the efficiency of the classifier because it is mainly based on bit comparisons. Considering patches scaled at before the classification stage, the classifier is essentially a comparison of bit words for each channel with complexity in the range of one operation per pixel. For this reason, it is very fast and light. Also the correction is very light because, as explained in Section 3.4, it is based on the resampling of a precomputed Gaussian function. The impact on memory is valuable only on the map processing, where data are processed several times, whereas in the remaining steps of the pipeline the weight of the instructions determines the main part of process timing.

We cannot compare the performances and complexity of our methodology with other methods because the other proposed methods are commercial ones; hence, the related codes are not available for the analysis.

5. Conclusion and Future Works

In this paper, an advanced red-eyes removal pipeline has been discussed. After an image filtering pipeline is devoted to select only the potential regions in which red-eye artifacts are likely to be, a cluster-based boosting on grey codes- based features is employed for classification purpose. Red eyes are then corrected through desaturation and brightness reduction. Experiments on a representative dataset confirm the real effectiveness of the proposed strategy which also allows to properly managing the multimodally nature of the input space. The obtained results have pointed out a good trade-off between overall hit rate and false positives. Moreover, the proposed approach has shown good performance in terms of quality measure. Future works will be devoted to include the analysis of other eyes artifacts (e.g., "golden eyes").

Authors’ Affiliations

Image Processing Laboratory, Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica, Università di Catania
Advanced System Technology, STMicroelectronics


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© Sebastiano Battiato et al. 2010

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