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We aim at using color information to classify the physical nature of edges in video. To achieve physics-based edge classification, we first propose a novel approach to color edge detection by automatic noise-adaptive thresholding derived from sensor noise analysis. Then, we present a taxonomy on color edge types. As a result, a parameter-free edge classifier is obtained labeling color transitions into one of the following types: 1) shadow-geometry, 2) highlight edges, and 3) material edges. The proposed method is empirically verified on images showing complex real world scenes.