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Publication Detail
Categorical Colour Geometry
Ordinary language users group colours into categories that they refer to by name e.g. pale green. Data on the colour categories of English speakers was collected using online crowd sourcing – 1,000 subjects produced 20,000 unconstrained names for 600 colour stimuli. From this data, using the framework of Information Geometry, a Riemannian metric was computed throughout the colour solid. This is the first colour metric to have been computed from colour categorization data. In this categorical metric the distance between two close colours is driven by the difference in the distribution of names that the subject population applied to them. This contrasts with previous colour metrics which have been driven by stimulus discriminability, or acceptability of a colour match. The categorical metric is analysed and shown to be clearly different from discriminability-based metrics. Natural units of categorical length, area and volume are derived. These allow a count to be made of the number of categorically distinct regions of categorically-similar colours that fit within colour space. Our analysis estimates that 27 such regions fit within the colour solid, which agrees well with a previous estimate of 30 colours that can be identified by name by untrained subjects.
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