Efficient and robust specular highlight removal

Qingxiong Yang, Jinhui Tang, Narendra Ahuja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A robust and effective specular highlight removal method is proposed in this paper. It is based on a key observation - the maximum fraction of the diffuse colour component in diffuse local patches in colour images changes smoothly. The specular pixels can thus be treated as noise in this case. This property allows the specular highlights to be removed in an image denoising fashion: an edge-preserving low-pass filter (e.g., the bilateral filter) can be used to smooth the maximum fraction of the colour components of the original image to remove the noise contributed by the specular pixels. Recent developments in fast bilateral filtering techniques enable the proposed method to run over 200 × faster than state-of-the-art techniques on a standard CPU and differentiates it from previous work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6915741
Pages (from-to)1304-1311
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE transactions on pattern analysis and machine intelligence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Specular reflection separation
  • bilateral filter
  • highlight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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