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.
Foveated Video Coding for Real-Time Streaming Applications
2020, Wiedemann, Oliver, Hosu, Vlad, Lin, Hanhe, Saupe, Dietmar
Video streaming under real-time constraints is an increasingly widespread application. Many recent video encoders are unsuitable for this scenario due to theoretical limitations or run time requirements. In this paper, we present a framework for the perceptual evaluation of foveated video coding schemes. Foveation describes the process of adapting a visual stimulus according to the acuity of the human eye. In contrast to traditional region-of-interest coding, where certain areas are statically encoded at a higher quality, we utilize feedback from an eye-tracker to spatially steer the bit allocation scheme in real-time. We evaluate the performance of an H.264 based foveated coding scheme in a lab environment by comparing the bitrates at the point of just noticeable distortion (JND). Furthermore, we identify perceptually optimal codec parameterizations. In our trials, we achieve an average bitrate savings of 63.24% at the JND in comparison to the unfoveated baseline.
SUR-Net : Predicting the Satisfied User Ratio Curve for Image Compression with Deep Learning
2019, Fan, Chunling, Lin, Hanhe, Hosu, Vlad, Zhang, Yun, Jiang, Qingshan, Hamzaoui, Raouf, Saupe, Dietmar
The Satisfied User Ratio (SUR) curve for a lossy image compression scheme, e.g., JPEG, characterizes the probability distribution of the Just Noticeable Difference (JND) level, the smallest distortion level that can be perceived by a subject. We propose the first deep learning approach to predict such SUR curves. Instead of the direct approach of regressing the SUR curve itself for a given reference image, our model is trained on pairs of images, original and compressed. Relying on a Siamese Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), feature pooling, a fully connected regression-head, and transfer learning, we achieved a good prediction performance. Experiments on the MCL-JCI dataset showed a mean Bhattacharyya distance between the predicted and the original JND distributions of only 0.072.
Disregarding the Big Picture : Towards Local Image Quality Assessment
2018, Wiedemann, Oliver, Hosu, Vlad, Lin, Hanhe, Saupe, Dietmar
Image quality has been studied almost exclusively as a global image property. It is common practice for IQA databases and metrics to quantify this abstract concept with a single number per image. We propose an approach to blind IQA based on a convolutional neural network (patchnet) that was trained on a novel set of 32,000 individually annotated patches of 64×64 pixel. We use this model to generate spatially small local quality maps of images taken from KonIQ-10k, a large and diverse in-the-wild database of authentically distorted images. We show that our local quality indicator correlates well with global MOS, going beyond the predictive ability of quality related attributes such as sharpness. Averaging of patchnet predictions already outperforms classical approaches to global MOS prediction that were trained to include global image features. We additionally experiment with a generic second-stage aggregation CNN to estimate mean opinion scores. Our latter model performs comparable to the state of the art with a PLCC of 0.81 on KonIQ-10k.
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.
Visual Quality Assessment for Interpolated Slow-motion Videos based on a Novel Database
2020, Men, Hui, Hosu, Vlad, Lin, Hanhe, Bruhn, Andres, Saupe, Dietmar
Professional video editing tools can generate slow-motion video by interpolating frames from video recorded at a standard frame rate. Thereby the perceptual quality of such interpolated slow-motion videos strongly depends on the underlying interpolation techniques. We built a novel benchmark database that is specifically tailored for interpolated slow-motion videos (KoSMo-1k). It consists of 1,350 interpolated video sequences, from 30 different content sources, along with their subjective quality ratings from up to ten subjective comparisons per video pair. Moreover, we evaluated the performance of twelve existing full-reference (FR) image/video quality assessment (I/VQA) methods on the benchmark. In this way, we are able to show that specifically tailored quality assessment methods for interpolated slow-motion videos are needed, since the evaluated methods - despite their good performance on real-time video databases - do not give satisfying results when it comes to frame interpolation.
Visual Quality Assessment for Motion Compensated Frame Interpolation
2019, Men, Hui, Lin, Hanhe, Hosu, Vlad, Maurer, Daniel, Bruhn, Andres, Saupe, Dietmar
Current benchmarks for optical flow algorithms evaluate the estimation quality by comparing their predicted flow field with the ground truth, and additionally may compare interpolated frames, based on these predictions, with the correct frames from the actual image sequences. For the latter comparisons, objective measures such as mean square errors are applied. However, for applications like image interpolation, the expected user's quality of experience cannot be fully deduced from such simple quality measures. Therefore, we conducted a subjective quality assessment study by crowdsourcing for the interpolated images provided in one of the optical flow benchmarks, the Middlebury benchmark. We used paired comparisons with forced choice and reconstructed absolute quality scale values according to Thurstone's model using the classical least squares method. The results give rise to a re-ranking of 141 participating algorithms w.r.t. visual quality of interpolated frames mostly based on optical flow estimation. Our re-ranking result shows the necessity of visual quality assessment as another evaluation metric for optical flow and frame interpolation benchmarks.
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.
Deep Learning VS. Traditional Algorithms for Saliency Prediction of Distorted Images
2020, Zhao, Xin, Lin, Hanhe, Guo, Pengfei, Saupe, Dietmar, Liu, Hantao
Saliency has been widely studied in relation to image quality assessment (IQA). The optimal use of saliency in IQA metrics, however, is nontrivial and largely depends on whether saliency can be accurately predicted for images containing various distortions. Although tremendous progress has been made in saliency modelling, very little is known about whether and to what extent state-of-the-art methods are beneficial for saliency prediction of distorted images. In this paper, we analyse the ability of deep learning versus traditional algorithms in predicting saliency, based on an IQA-aware saliency benchmark, the SIQ288 database. Building off the variations in model performance, we make recommendations for model selections for IQA applications.
Expertise screening in crowdsourcing image quality
2018, Hosu, Vlad, Lin, Hanhe, Saupe, Dietmar
We propose a screening approach to find reliable and effectively expert crowd workers in image quality assessment (IQA). Our method measures the users' ability to identify image degradations by using test questions, together with several relaxed reliability checks. We conduct multiple experiments, obtaining reproducible results with a high agreement between the expertise-screened crowd and the freelance experts of 0.95 Spearman rank order correlation (SROCC), with one restriction on the image type. Our contributions include a reliability screening method for uninformative users, a new type of test questions that rely on our proposed database 1 of pristine and artificially distorted images, a group agreement extrapolation method and an analysis of the crowdsourcing experiments.