Dehazing using color-lines

Raanan Fattal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

838 Scopus citations


Photographs of hazy scenes typically suffer having low contrast and offer a limited visibility of the scene. This article describes a new method for single-image dehazing that relies on a generic regularity in natural images where pixels of small image patches typically exhibit a 1D distribution in RGB color space, known as color-lines. We derive a local formation model that explains the color-lines in the context of hazy scenes and use it for recovering the scene transmission based on the lines' offset from the origin. The lack of a dominant color-line inside a patch or its lack of consistency with the formation model allows us to identify and avoid false predictions. Thus, unlike existing approaches that follow their assumptions across the entire image, our algorithm validates its hypotheses and obtains more reliable estimates where possible. In addition, we describe a Markov random field model dedicated to producing complete and regularized transmission maps given noisy and scattered estimates. Unlike traditional field models that consist of local coupling, the new model is augmented with long-range connections between pixels of similar attributes. These connections allow our algorithm to properly resolve the transmission in isolated regions where nearby pixels do not offer relevant information. An extensive evaluation of our method over different types of images and its comparison to state-of-the-art methods over established benchmark images show a consistent improvement in the accuracy of the estimated scene transmission and recovered haze-free radiances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 29 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 ACM.


  • Contrast enhancement
  • Image dehazing
  • Transmission estimation


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