Mathematical morphology is a very successful branch of image processing with a history of more than four decades. Its fundamental operations are dilation and erosion, which are based on the notion of a maximum and a minimum with respect to an order. Many operators constructed from dilation and erosion are available for grey value images, and recently useful analogs of these processes for matrix-valued images have been introduced by taking advantage of the so-called Loewner order. There has been a number of approaches to morphology for vector-valued images, that is, colour images based on various orders, however, each with its merits and shortcomings. In this article we propose an approach to (elementary) morphology for colour images that relies on the existing order based morphology for matrix fields of symmetric 2×2-matrices. An RGB-image is embedded into a field of those 2×2-matrices by exploiting the geometrical properties of the order cone associated with the Loewner order. To this end a modification of the HSL-colour model and a relativistic addition of matrices is introduced.

The experiments performed with various morphological elementary operators on synthetic and real images demonstrate the capabilities and restrictions of the novel approach.


matrix field tensor field symmetric matrix colour images dilation erosion colour space Einstein addition 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Burgeth
    • 1
  • Andreas Kleefeld
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Mathematics and Computer ScienceSaarland UniversitySaarbrückenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Computer ScienceBrandenburg Technical University CottbusCottbusGermany

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