Local contrast enhancement for human face recognition in poor lighting conditions

Wen Chung Kao*, Ming Chai Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recognizing human faces in various lighting conditions is quite difficult for a surveillance system. The problem becomes more difficult if face images are taken in extremely high dynamic range scenes. Most of automatic face recognition systems assume the images are taken under well controlled illumination. The face segmentation as well as recognition problem is much simpler under such a constrained condition. However, controlling illumination is not feasible while the surveillance system is installed on locations at will. Without compensating for the effect of uneven illuminants, it is impossible to get a satisfactory recognition result. In this paper, we propose an integrated system that first compensates illuminant effect by local contrast enhancement. Then the enhanced images are fed into a robust face recognition engine which adaptively selects important features and performs classification by support vector machines (SVMs). The experimental result shows that the proposed recognition system is better than recently published literatures with two popular human face image databases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4811288
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalConference Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event2008 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, SMC 2008 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 2008 Oct 122008 Oct 15


  • Adaptive feature extraction
  • Face recognition
  • Local contrast enhancement
  • Support vector machines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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