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Image Aesthetic Quality Assessment Based on Deep Neural Networks

Abstract : With the development of capture devices and the Internet, people access to an increasing amount of images. Assessing visual aesthetics has important applications in several domains, from image retrieval and recommendation to enhancement. Image aesthetic quality assessment aims at determining how beautiful an image looks to human observers. Many problems in this field are not studied well, including the subjectivity of aesthetic quality assessment, explanation of aesthetics and the human-annotated data collection. Conventional image aesthetic quality prediction aims at predicting the average score or aesthetic class of a picture. However, the aesthetic prediction is intrinsically subjective, and images with similar mean aesthetic scores/class might display very different levels of consensus by human raters. Recent work has dealt with aesthetic subjectivity by predicting the distribution of human scores, but predicting the distribution is not directly interpretable in terms of subjectivity, and might be sub-optimal compared to directly estimating subjectivity descriptors computed from ground-truth scores. Furthermore, labels in existing datasets are often noisy, incomplete or they do not allow more sophisticated tasks such as understanding why an image looks beautiful or not to a human observer. In this thesis, we first propose several measures of subjectivity, ranging from simple statistical measures such as the standard deviation of the scores, to newly proposed descriptors inspired by information theory. We evaluate the prediction performance of these measures when they are computed from predicted score distributions and when they are directly learned from ground-truth data. We find that the latter strategy provides in general better results. We also use the subjectivity to improve predicting aesthetic scores, showing that information theory inspired subjectivity measures perform better than statistical measures. Then, we propose an Explainable Visual Aesthetics (EVA) dataset, which contains 4070 images with at least 30 votes per image. EVA has been crowd-sourced using a more disciplined approach inspired by quality assessment best practices. It also offers additional features, such as the degree of difficulty in assessing the aesthetic score, rating for 4 complementary aesthetic attributes, as well as the relative importance of each attribute to form aesthetic opinions. The publicly available dataset is expected to contribute to future research on understanding and predicting visual quality aesthetics. Additionally, we studied the explainability of image aesthetic quality assessment. A statistical analysis on EVA demonstrates that the collected attributes and relative importance can be linearly combined to explain effectively the overall aesthetic mean opinion scores. We found subjectivity has a limited correlation to average personal difficulty in aesthetic assessment, and the subject's region, photographic level and age affect the user's aesthetic assessment significantly.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 5:43:14 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 1, 2021 - 3:35:07 AM

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  • HAL Id : tel-03159861, version 1

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Chen Kang. Image Aesthetic Quality Assessment Based on Deep Neural Networks. Image Processing [eess.IV]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020UPASG004⟩. ⟨tel-03159861⟩

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