Low-Illumination Road Image Enhancement by Fusing Retinex Theory and Histogram Equalization

Yi Han, Xiangyong Chen, Yi Zhong*, Yanqing Huang, Zhuo Li, Ping Han, Qing Li, Zhenhui Yuan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Low-illumination image enhancement can provide more information than the original image in low-light scenarios, e.g., nighttime driving. Traditional deep-learning-based image enhancement algorithms struggle to balance the performance between the overall illumination enhancement and local edge details, due to limitations of time and computational cost. This paper proposes a histogram equalization–multiscale Retinex combination approach (HE-MSR-COM) that aims at solving the blur edge problem of HE and the uncertainty in selecting parameters for image illumination enhancement in MSR. The enhanced illumination information is extracted from the low-frequency component in the HE-enhanced image, and the enhanced edge information is obtained from the high-frequency component in the MSR-enhanced image. By designing adaptive fusion weights of HE and MSR, the proposed method effectively combines enhanced illumination and edge information. The experimental results show that HE-MSR-COM improves the image quality by 23.95% and 10.6% in two datasets, respectively, compared with HE, contrast-limited adaptive histogram equalization (CLAHE), MSR, and gamma correction (GC).
Original languageEnglish
Article number990
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2023


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