Skip to Main Content
Color quantization is an important operation with many applications in graphics and image processing. Most quantization methods are essentially based on data clustering algorithms. However, despite its popularity as a general purpose clustering algorithm, k-means has not received much respect in the color quantization literature because of its high computational requirements and sensitivity to initialization. In this paper, we investigate the performance of k-means as a color quantizer. We implement fast and exact variants of k-means with different initialization schemes and then compare the resulting quantizers to some of the most popular quantizers in the literature. Experiments on a set of classic test images demonstrate that an efficient implementation of k-means with an appropriate initialization strategy can in fact serve as a very effective color quantizer.
Date of Conference: 7-10 Nov. 2009