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A Color-Pair Based Approach for Accurate Color Harmony Estimation

Yang, Bailin; Wei, Tianxiang; Fang, Xianyong; Deng, Zhigang; Li, Frederick W.B.; Ling, Yun; Wang, Xun

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Bailin Yang

Tianxiang Wei

Xianyong Fang

Zhigang Deng

Yun Ling

Xun Wang


Harmonious color combinations can stimulate positive user emotional responses. However, a widely open research question is: how can we establish a robust and accurate color harmony measure for the public and professional designers to identify the harmony level of a color theme or color set. Building upon the key discovery that color pairs play an important role in harmony estimation, in this paper we present a novel color-pair based estimation model to accurately measure the color harmony. It first takes a two-layer maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) based method to compute an initial prediction of color harmony by statistically modeling the pair-wise color preferences from existing datasets. Then, the initial scores are refined through a back-propagation neural network (BPNN) with a variety of color features extracted in different color spaces, so that an accurate harmony estimation can be obtained at the end. Our extensive experiments, including performance comparisons of harmony estimation applications, show the advantages of our method in comparison with the state of the art methods.


Yang, B., Wei, T., Fang, X., Deng, Z., Li, F. W., Ling, Y., & Wang, X. (2019). A Color-Pair Based Approach for Accurate Color Harmony Estimation. Computer Graphics Forum, 38(7), 481-490.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 26, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 14, 2019
Publication Date Oct 14, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 30, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 14, 2020
Journal Computer Graphics Forum
Print ISSN 0167-7055
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 7
Pages 481-490
Publisher URL


Accepted Journal Article (12.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This is the accepted version of the following article: FULL CITE, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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