CUDAS : Distortion-Aware Saliency Benchmark
2023, Zhao, Xin, Lou, Jianxun, Wu, Xinbo, Wu, Yingying, Lévêque, Lucie, Liu, Xiaochang, Guo, Pengfei, Qin, Yipeng, Lin, Hanhe, Saupe, Dietmar, Liu, Hantao
Visual saliency prediction remains an academic challenge due to the diversity and complexity of natural scenes as well as the scarcity of eye movement data on where people look in images. In many practical applications, digital images are inevitably subject to distortions, such as those caused by acquisition, editing, compression or transmission. A great deal of attention has been paid to predicting the saliency of distortion-free pristine images, but little attention has been given to understanding the impact of visual distortions on saliency prediction. In this paper, we first present the CUDAS database - a new distortion-aware saliency benchmark, where eye-tracking data was collected for 60 pristine images and their corresponding 540 distorted formats. We then conduct a statistical evaluation to reveal the behaviour of state-of-the-art saliency prediction models on distorted images and provide insights on building an effective model for distortion-aware saliency prediction. The new database is made publicly available to the research community.
TranSalNet : Towards perceptually relevant visual saliency prediction
2022, Lou, Jianxun, Lin, Hanhe, Marshall, David, Saupe, Dietmar, Liu, Hantao
Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have significantly advanced computational modelling for saliency prediction. However, accurately simulating the mechanisms of visual attention in the human cortex remains an academic challenge. It is critical to integrate properties of human vision into the design of CNN architectures, leading to perceptually more relevant saliency prediction. Due to the inherent inductive biases of CNN architectures, there is a lack of sufficient long-range contextual encoding capacity. This hinders CNN-based saliency models from capturing properties that emulate viewing behaviour of humans. Transformers have shown great potential in encoding long-range information by leveraging the self-attention mechanism. In this paper, we propose a novel saliency model that integrates transformer components to CNNs to capture the long-range contextual visual information. Experimental results show that the transformers provide added value to saliency prediction, enhancing its perceptual relevance in the performance. Our proposed saliency model using transformers has achieved superior results on public benchmarks and competitions for saliency prediction models.
KonIQ-10k : An Ecologically Valid Database for Deep Learning of Blind Image Quality Assessment
2020-01-24, Hosu, Vlad, Lin, Hanhe, Sziranyi, Tamas, Saupe, Dietmar
Deep learning methods for image quality assessment (IQA) are limited due to the small size of existing datasets. Extensive datasets require substantial resources both for generating publishable content and annotating it accurately. We present a systematic and scalable approach to creating KonIQ-10k, the largest IQA dataset to date, consisting of 10,073 quality scored images. It is the first in-the-wild database aiming for ecological validity, concerning the authenticity of distortions, the diversity of content, and quality-related indicators. Through the use of crowdsourcing, we obtained 1.2 million reliable quality ratings from 1,459 crowd workers, paving the way for more general IQA models. We propose a novel, deep learning model (KonCept512), to show an excellent generalization beyond the test set (0.921 SROCC), to the current state-of-the-art database LIVE-in-the-Wild (0.825 SROCC). The model derives its core performance from the InceptionResNet architecture, being trained at a higher resolution than previous models (512 × 384 ). Correlation analysis shows that KonCept512 performs similar to having 9 subjective scores for each test image.
Crowdsourced Quality Assessment of Enhanced Underwater Images : a Pilot Study
2022, Lin, Hanhe, Men, Hui, Yan, Yijun, Ren, Jinchang, Saupe, Dietmar
Underwater image enhancement (UIE) is essential for a high-quality underwater optical imaging system. While a number of UIE algorithms have been proposed in recent years, there is little study on image quality assessment (IQA) of enhanced underwater images. In this paper, we conduct the first crowdsourced subjective IQA study on enhanced underwater images. We chose ten state-of-the-art UIE algorithms and applied them to yield enhanced images from an underwater image benchmark. Their latent quality scales were reconstructed from pair comparison. We demonstrate that the existing IQA metrics are not suitable for assessing the perceived quality of enhanced underwater images. In addition, the overall performance of 10 UIE algorithms on the benchmark is ranked by the newly proposed simulated pair comparison of the methods.
KonVid-150k : A Dataset for No-Reference Video Quality Assessment of Videos in-the-Wild
2021, Götz-Hahn, Franz, Hosu, Vlad, Lin, Hanhe, Saupe, Dietmar
Video quality assessment (VQA) methods focus on particular degradation types, usually artificially induced on a small set of reference videos. Hence, most traditional VQA methods under-perform in-the-wild. Deep learning approaches have had limited success due to the small size and diversity of existing VQA datasets, either artificial or authentically distorted. We introduce a new in-the-wild VQA dataset that is substantially larger and diverse: KonVid-150k. It consists of a coarsely annotated set of 153,841 videos having five quality ratings each, and 1,596 videos with a minimum of 89 ratings each. Additionally, we propose new efficient VQA approaches (MLSP-VQA) relying on multi-level spatially pooled deep-features (MLSP). They are exceptionally well suited for training at scale, compared to deep transfer learning approaches. Our best method, MLSP-VQA-FF, improves the Spearman rank-order correlation coefficient (SRCC) performance metric on the commonly used KoNViD-1k in-the-wild benchmark dataset to 0.82. It surpasses the best existing deep-learning model (0.80 SRCC) and hand-crafted feature-based method (0.78 SRCC). We further investigate how alternative approaches perform under different levels of label noise, and dataset size, showing that MLSP-VQA-FF is the overall best method for videos in-the-wild. Finally, we show that the MLSP-VQA models trained on KonVid-150k sets the new state-of-the-art for cross-test performance on KoNViD-1k and LIVE-Qualcomm with a 0.83 and 0.64 SRCC, respectively. For KoNViD-1k this inter-dataset testing outperforms intra-dataset experiments, showing excellent generalization.
Subjective annotation for a frame interpolation benchmark using artefact amplification
2020-12, Men, Hui, Hosu, Vlad, Lin, Hanhe, Bruhn, Andrés, Saupe, Dietmar
Current benchmarks for optical flow algorithms evaluate the estimation either directly by comparing the predicted flow fields with the ground truth or indirectly by using the predicted flow fields for frame interpolation and then comparing the interpolated frames with the actual frames. In the latter case, objective quality measures such as the mean squared error are typically employed. However, it is well known that for image quality assessment, the actual quality experienced by the user cannot be fully deduced from such simple measures. Hence, we conducted a subjective quality assessment crowdscouring study for the interpolated frames provided by one of the optical flow benchmarks, the Middlebury benchmark. It contains interpolated frames from 155 methods applied to each of 8 contents. For this purpose, we collected forced-choice paired comparisons between interpolated images and corresponding ground truth. To increase the sensitivity of observers when judging minute difference in paired comparisons we introduced a new method to the field of full-reference quality assessment, called artefact amplification. From the crowdsourcing data (3720 comparisons of 20 votes each) we reconstructed absolute quality scale values according to Thurstone’s model. As a result, we obtained a re-ranking of the 155 participating algorithms w.r.t. the visual quality of the interpolated frames. This re-ranking not only shows the necessity of visual quality assessment as another evaluation metric for optical flow and frame interpolation benchmarks, the results also provide the ground truth for designing novel image quality assessment (IQA) methods dedicated to perceptual quality of interpolated images. As a first step, we proposed such a new full-reference method, called WAE-IQA, which weights the local differences between an interpolated image and its ground truth.
Large-scale crowdsourced subjective assessment of picturewise just noticeable difference
2022, Lin, Hanhe, Chen, Guangan, Jenadeleh, Mohsen, Hosu, Vlad, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich, Hamzaoui, Raouf, Saupe, Dietmar
The picturewise just noticeable difference (PJND) for a given image, compression scheme, and subject is the smallest distortion level that the subject can perceive when the image is compressed with this compression scheme. The PJND can be used to determine the compression level at which a given proportion of the population does not notice any distortion in the compressed image. To obtain accurate and diverse results, the PJND must be determined for a large number of subjects and images. This is particularly important when experimental PJND data are used to train deep learning models that can predict a probability distribution model of the PJND for a new image. To date, such subjective studies have been carried out in laboratory environments. However, the number of participants and images in all existing PJND studies is very small because of the challenges involved in setting up laboratory experiments. To address this limitation, we develop a framework to conduct PJND assessments via crowdsourcing. We use a new technique based on slider adjustment and a flicker test to determine the PJND. A pilot study demonstrated that our technique could decrease the study duration by 50% and double the perceptual sensitivity compared to the standard binary search approach that successively compares a test image side by side with its reference image. Our framework includes a robust and systematic scheme to ensure the reliability of the crowdsourced results. Using 1,008 source images and distorted versions obtained with JPEG and BPG compression, we apply our crowdsourcing framework to build the largest PJND dataset, KonJND-1k (Konstanz just noticeable difference 1k dataset). A total of 503 workers participated in the study, yielding 61,030 PJND samples that resulted in an average of 42 samples per source image. The KonJND-1k dataset is available at http://database.mmsp-kn.de/konjnd-1k-database.html.
KonIQ++ : Boosting No-Reference Image Quality Assessment in the Wild by Jointly Predicting Image Quality and Defects
2021, Su, Shaolin, Hosu, Vlad, Lin, Hanhe, Zhang, Yanning, Saupe, Dietmar
Although image quality assessment (IQA) in-the-wild has been researched in computer vision, it is still challenging to precisely estimate perceptual image quality in the presence of real-world complex and composite distortions. In order to improve machine learning solutions for IQA, we consider side information denoting the presence of distortions besides the basic quality ratings in IQA datasets. Specifically, we extend one of the largest in-the-wild IQA databases, KonIQ-10k, to KonIQ++, by collecting distortion annotations for each image, aiming to improve quality prediction together with distortion identification. We further explore the interactions between image quality and distortion by proposing a novel IQA model, which jointly predicts image quality and distortion by recurrently refining task-specific features in a multi-stage fusion framework. Our dataset KonIQ++, along with the model, boosts IQA performance and generalization ability, demonstrating its potential for solving the challenging authentic IQA task. The proposed model can also accurately predict distinct image defects, suggesting its application in image processing tasks such as image colorization and deblurring.
Subjective Assessment of Global Picture-Wise Just Noticeable Difference
2020-07, Lin, Hanhe, Jenadeleh, Mohsen, Chen, Guangan, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich, Hamzaoui, Raouf, Saupe, Dietmar
The picture-wise just noticeable difference (PJND) for a given image and a compression scheme is a statistical quantity giving the smallest distortion that a subject can perceive when the image is compressed with the compression scheme. The PJND is determined with subjective assessment tests for a sample of subjects. We introduce and apply two methods of adjustment where the subject interactively selects the distortion level at the PJND using either a slider or keystrokes. We compare the results and times required to those of the adaptive binary search type approach, in which image pairs with distortions that bracket the PJND are displayed and the difference in distortion levels is reduced until the PJND is identified. For the three methods, two images are compared using the flicker test in which the displayed images alternate at a frequency of 8 Hz. Unlike previous work, our goal is a global one, determining the PJND not only for the original pristine image but also for a sequence of compressed versions. Results for the MCL-JCI dataset show that the PJND measurements based on adjustment are comparable with those of the traditional approach using binary search, yet significantly faster. Moreover, we conducted a crowdsourcing study with side-byside comparisons and forced choice, which suggests that the flicker test is more sensitive than a side-by-side comparison.