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Advanced Materials Research Vol.

174 (2011) pp 36-39


Online available since 2010/Dec/06 at www.scientific.net
© (2011) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland
doi:10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMR.174.36

Uncertainty Evaluation of Spectral Color Measurement

Wan Xiaoxiaa, Huang Xinguob, Liu Zhenc

School of Printing and Packaging, Wuhan University, China


a
wan@whu.edu.cn, bhxinguo919@126.com, cliuzhen0910@163.com

Keywords: Uncertainty; Spectral reflectance; Tristimulus values; Chromaticity parameters.


Abstract. Uncertainty evaluation of spectral color measurement is the best method of evaluation of
color measurement result’s quality. Firstly type A and type B uncertainty of spectral reflectance are
analyzed based on different uncertainty's sources, secondly uncertainty of chromaticity parameters
are calculated based on spectral reflectance’s uncertainty. Lastly practicability of uncertainty
evaluation of spectral color measurement is proved by experiments.

Introduction
Spectral color measurement is measuring spectral reflectance by spectrophotometer and then
calculating chromatic value, such as tristimulus values. Spectral color measurement is the most
accurate color measurement method, which is widely used in the industry with high color quality
requirements, such as printing, dyeing. Measurement accuracy is the basis of spectral color
measurement applications. Measurement error evaluation has been replaced by uncertainty
evaluation in measurement accuracy assessent[1]. However spectral color measurement uncertainty
evaluation is more difficult than other measurements, because of the subjectivity of measurement
uncertainty evaluation and the calculation complexity of chromatic values.

Mathematical model of spectral color measurement


According to the calculation formula of tristimulus values, if the spectral reflectance is measured, the
tristimulus values can be calculated. So uncertainty of tristimulus values and chromaticity parameters are
derived from changes of parameters in the spectral reflectance measurement .The spectral reflectance is
measured by comparing the reflected light energy of specimen and the standard white board under the same
conditions [2].Similar to the standard white board. Because the reflectance of standard is known, the reflectance
of specimen is given by the following:
S (λ )
R (λ ) = i Rsd (λ ) . (1)
S sd (λ )
where S (λ ) is the photoelectric signal of specimen, S sd (λ ) is the photoelectric signal of
standard, Rsd (λ ) is the reflectance of standard, R(λ ) is the reflectance of specimen.

Uncertainty evaluation of spectral reflectance


According to ISO A type evaluation method of uncertainty, when the number of specimen color
measurement not less than 10, standard deviation of mean is expressed as uncertainty, so the uncertainty of
spectral reflectance of specimen is given by the following:
n

∑ ( R (λ ) − R(λ ))
k
2

u ( R (λ )) = k =1 . (2)
n(n − 1)
where Rk (λ ) is the kth measurement, R (λ ) is the arithmetic mean of n measurement of R (λ ) .

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Advanced Materials Research Vol. 174 37

According to ISO B type evaluation method of uncertainty and Eq 1, the input quantities of R (λ ) are
S (λ ) , S sd (λ ) , Rsd (λ ) and λ ,so R(λ ) = f ( S (λ ), Ssd (λ ), Rsd (λ ), λ ) [2,3,4].The sensitivity coefficients of
R(λ ) with respect to S (λ ) is as follows:
∂R(λ ) Rsd (λ ) R(λ )
= = . (3)
∂S (λ ) Ssd (λ ) S (λ )

Similarly available to ∂R ( λ ) ∂Ssd ( λ ) , ∂R ( λ ) ∂Rsd ( λ ) , ∂R ( λ ) ∂λ .


Set S (λ ) and S sd (λ ) as input quantities,applying the law of propagation of uncertainty to Eq
∂S sd ( λ ) are substituted into Eq 1,so the uncertainty due to S (λ ) and S sd ( λ ) is given by
∂R ( λ ) ∂R ( λ )
1, ∂S ( λ ) and
the following:
 u 2 ( S (λ )) u 2 ( S (λ )) u ( S (λ ))u ( S sd (λ ))r ( S (λ ), S sd (λ ))  .
u ( R (λ )) = R (λ )  + sd
−2  (4)
 ( S (λ ) ) 2
( S sd (λ ) )
2
S (λ ) S sd (λ ) 
 
Set Rsd (λ ) as input quantity,applying the law of propagation of uncertainty to Eq 1, ∂R ( λ )
∂Rsd ( λ )
is substituted into Eq 1,so the uncertainty due to Rsd (λ ) is given by the following:
R (λ )
u ( R (λ )) = u ( Rsd (λ )) . (5)
Rsd (λ )
Set λ as input quantity,applying the law of propagation of uncertainty to Eq 1 , ∂R ( λ ) ∂λ is
substituted into Eq 1 ,so the uncertainty due to λ is given by the following:
∂ ( S (λ ) S sd (λ ))
u ( R (λ )) = Rsd (λ ) u (λ ) . (6)
∂λ

Uncertainty evaluation of tristimulus values


Set R(λ ) as input quantity, apply the law of propagation of uncertainty to the calculation
formula of tristimulus values ,The uncertainty of X, Y, Z is given by the following:
 ∂V   ∂V 
2
 ∂V  2 m −1 m
u (V ) = ∑ 
2
 u ( R ( λ )) + 2 ∑ ∑   r ( R (λi ), R (λ j ))u ( R (λi ))u ( R (λ j )) . (7)
λ  ∂R (λ )  i =1 j = i +1  ∂R (λi )   ∂R (λ j ) 

where V represents tristimulus values X, Y and Z. R(λi ) and R (λ j ) is the spectral reflectance factors at
different wavelengths λi and λ j .the sensitivity coefficients ∂V ∂R ( λ ) are equal to color stimulus function. The
correlation coefficients r ( R (λi ), R (λ j )) depends on the sources of uncertainty of spectral reflectance.

Uncertainty evaluation of chromaticity parameters


Set R (λ ) as input quantity, apply the law of propagation of uncertainty to calculation formula
of chromaticity parameters, the uncertainty of chromaticity parameters is given by the following:
 ∂Γ   ∂Γ 
2
 ∂Γ  2 m −1 m
u 2 (Γ ) = ∑   u ( R(λ )) + 2∑ ∑    r ( R(λi ), R(λ j ))u ( R(λi ))u ( R(λ j )) . (8)
λ  ∂R (λ ) 

i =1 j =i +1  ∂R (λi )   ∂R (λ j ) 

where Γ is representation of chromaticity parameters, such as L*,a*,b*.


Chromaticity parameters are generally calculated on tristimulus values, that is as
Γ = f ( X , Y , Z ) .So the sensitivity coefficients in Eq 8 is given by the following:
∂Γ ∂Γ ∂X ∂Γ ∂Y ∂Γ ∂Z
= + + . (9)
∂R (λ ) ∂X ∂R (λ ) ∂Y ∂R (λ ) ∂Z ∂R (λ )
where ∂Γ ∂X , ∂Γ ∂Y and ∂Γ ∂Z are derived from partial derivative of calculation formula of
chromaticity parameters, ∂X ∂R ( λ ) , ∂Y ∂R ( λ ) and ∂X ∂R ( λ ) are equal to color stimulus function.
38 Printing and Packaging Study

Set tristimulus values as input quantity, apply the law of propagation of uncertainty to calculation
formula of chromaticity parameters, the uncertainty of chromaticity parameters is given by the
following:
2 2 2
 ∂Γ  2  ∂Γ  2  ∂Γ  2  ∂Γ   ∂Γ 
u 2 (Γ ) =   u (X ) +   u (Y ) +   u (Z ) + 2    r ( X , Y )u ( X )u (Y ) .
 ∂X   ∂Y   ∂Z   ∂X   ∂Y  (10)
 ∂Γ   ∂Γ   ∂Γ   ∂Γ 
+2    r ( X , Z )u ( X )u ( Z ) + 2    r (Y , Z )u (Y )u ( Z )
 ∂X   ∂Z   ∂Y   ∂Z 

where ∂Γ ∂X , ∂Γ ∂Y and ∂Γ ∂Z are derived from partial derivative of calculation formula of


chromaticity parameters, u ( X ) , u (Y ) and u ( Z ) is given by Eq 7.

Results and discussion


Color-Eye 7000A spectrophotometer was used for the spectral color measurement, set
measurement parameters as SAV and SCI, calibrate spectrophotometer, and then measure
specimens 10 times. Type A evaluation of uncertainty of spectral reflectance of specimens are given
by Eq 2. Because type B evaluation of uncertainty call for insight based on experience and general
knowledge, type B evaluation of uncertainty of spectral reflectance of specimens due to signal noise,
signal offset, the change of standard and wavelength shift are derived from Color-Eye 7000A
specifications documentation and research report about standard white board from NIST[5,6], and
calculated based on Eq 4, Eq 5, Eq 6.
The uncertainties of tristimulus values are calculated using Eq 7 based on uncertainties of
spectral reflectance of different factors.The uncertainties of tristimulus values duo to specimen,
signal noise, systematic effects of standard and random effects of standard are obtained, and the
result are shown in Fig.1 (a), (b) and (c). The uncertainties of chromaticity parameters are calculated
using Eq.9 based on uncertainties of tristimulus values. This shows CIE L* as an example of evaluation of
*
uncertainty of chromaticity parameters. firstly, ∂L* , ∂L ∂Y and ∂L* is calculated, secondly, u ( L* ) is calculated
∂X ∂Z

*
by substituting ∂L*
∂X , ∂L ∂Y , ∂L ∂Z ,Y and
*
u (Y ) into Eq.10, The uncertainties of chromaticity parameters duo to
specimen, signal noise, systematic effects of standard and random effects of standard are obtained, and the
result are shown in Fig.1 (d).
As shown in Fig .1 (a),(b) and (c), the uncertainties of specimen 1 and 3 are greater than
specimen 2 and 4,because the spectral reflectance of specimen 1 and 3 are greater than specimen 2
and 4, measurement signal strength of specimen 1 and 3 is more stronger, and more affected by
various factors; the uncertainty duo to systematic effects of standard the largest, followed by signal
noise, random effects of standard minimum, that is say the main reason affecting the measurement
results is material stability and surface cleanliness of standard, in addition, the stability of the
measurement process is also an important factor affecting the measurement results.
Advanced Materials Research Vol. 174 39

(a) (b)

(c) (d)
Fig.1 Uncertainty component’s comparison of X, Y, Z and L*.The sources of uncertainty are signal
noise(SN) ,systematic effects of standard(SS),random effects of standard(SR), type A evaluation of
uncertainty(AU) .

Conclusions
This article analyzed the sources of the uncertainty of spectral reflectance and the evaluation
method of the uncertainty of spectral reflectance based on mathematical model of spectral color
measurement, and defined a clear mathematical relationship between the uncertainty of spectral
reflectance, tristimulus values and chromaticity parameters ,finally derived the evaluation method
of the uncertainty of tristimulus values and chromaticity parameters.

References
[1] ISO/IEC Guide 98:1995:Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement.
[2] Dai Caihong,Yu Jialin,Yu Jing,Yin Chunyong: ACTA OP TICA SINICA, Vol.25 (2005),
p.547-552.
[3] E A Early. M E Nadal: Color Research and Application Vol.29(2004), p.205-216.
[4] J L Gardner: Color Research and Application Vol.25(2000), p.349-355.
[5] GretagMacbeth Color-Eye 7000A Spectrophotometer Operation Manual.
[6] Barnes P Y, Early E A. Spectral Reflectance, NIST Special Publication (1998), p.250-48.
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Uncertainty Evaluation of Spectral Color Measurement


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