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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1109/TIP.2021.3061932

Uncertainty-Aware Blind Image Quality Assessment in the Laboratory and Wild

04 Mar 2021-IEEE Transactions on Image Processing (IEEE)-Vol. 30, pp 3474-3486
Abstract: Performance of blind image quality assessment (BIQA) models has been significantly boosted by end-to-end optimization of feature engineering and quality regression. Nevertheless, due to the distributional shift between images simulated in the laboratory and captured in the wild, models trained on databases with synthetic distortions remain particularly weak at handling realistic distortions (and vice versa). To confront the cross-distortion-scenario challenge, we develop a unified BIQA model and an approach of training it for both synthetic and realistic distortions. We first sample pairs of images from individual IQA databases, and compute a probability that the first image of each pair is of higher quality. We then employ the fidelity loss to optimize a deep neural network for BIQA over a large number of such image pairs. We also explicitly enforce a hinge constraint to regularize uncertainty estimation during optimization. Extensive experiments on six IQA databases show the promise of the learned method in blindly assessing image quality in the laboratory and wild. In addition, we demonstrate the universality of the proposed training strategy by using it to improve existing BIQA models.

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Topics: Image quality (53%)
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24 results found


Open accessPosted Content
30 May 2021-arXiv: Multimedia
Abstract: Image quality assessment (IQA) is very important for both end-users and service-providers since a high-quality image can significantly improve the user's quality of experience (QoE). Most existing blind image quality assessment (BIQA) models were developed for synthetically distorted images, however, they perform poorly on in-the-wild images, which are widely existed in various practical applications. In this paper, we propose a novel BIQA model for in-the-wild images by addressing two critical problems in this field: how to learn better quality-aware features, and how to solve the problem of insufficient training samples. Considering that perceptual visual quality is affected by both low-level visual features and high-level semantic information, we first propose a staircase structure to hierarchically integrate the features from intermediate layers into the final feature representation, which enables the model to make full use of visual information from low-level to high-level. Then an iterative mixed database training (IMDT) strategy is proposed to train the BIQA model on multiple databases simultaneously, so the model can benefit from the increase in both training samples and image content and distortion diversity and can learn a more general feature representation. Experimental results show that the proposed model outperforms other state-of-the-art BIQA models on six in-the-wild IQA databases by a large margin. Moreover, the proposed model shows an excellent performance in the cross-database evaluation experiments, which further demonstrates that the learned feature representation is robust to images sampled from various distributions.

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5 Citations


Open accessPosted Content
Abstract: The explosive growth of image data facilitates the fast development of image processing and computer vision methods for emerging visual applications, meanwhile introducing novel distortions to the processed images. This poses a grand challenge to existing blind image quality assessment (BIQA) models, failing to continually adapt to such subpopulation shift. Recent work suggests training BIQA methods on the combination of all available human-rated IQA datasets. However, this type of approach is not scalable to a large number of datasets, and is cumbersome to incorporate a newly created dataset as well. In this paper, we formulate continual learning for BIQA, where a model learns continually from a stream of IQA datasets, building on what was learned from previously seen data. We first identify five desiderata in the new setting with a measure to quantify the plasticity-stability trade-off. We then propose a simple yet effective method for learning BIQA models continually. Specifically, based on a shared backbone network, we add a prediction head for a new dataset, and enforce a regularizer to allow all prediction heads to evolve with new data while being resistant to catastrophic forgetting of old data. We compute the quality score by an adaptive weighted summation of estimates from all prediction heads. Extensive experiments demonstrate the promise of the proposed continual learning method in comparison to standard training techniques for BIQA.

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4 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1109/TIP.2021.3084750
Abstract: In this paper, we quest the capability of transferring the quality of natural scene images to the images that are not acquired by optical cameras (e.g., screen content images, SCIs), rooted in the widely accepted view that the human visual system has adapted and evolved through the perception of natural environment. Here, we develop the first unsupervised domain adaptation based no reference quality assessment method for SCIs, leveraging rich subjective ratings of the natural images (NIs). In general, it is a non-trivial task to directly transfer the quality prediction model from NIs to a new type of content (i.e., SCIs) that holds dramatically different statistical characteristics. Inspired by the transferability of pair-wise relationship, the proposed quality measure operates based on the philosophy of improving the transferability and discriminability simultaneously. In particular, we introduce three types of losses which complementarily and explicitly regularize the feature space of ranking in a progressive manner. Regarding feature discriminatory capability enhancement, we propose a center based loss to rectify the classifier and improve its prediction capability not only for source domain (NI) but also the target domain (SCI). For feature discrepancy minimization, the maximum mean discrepancy (MMD) is imposed on the extracted ranking features of NIs and SCIs. Furthermore, to further enhance the feature diversity, we introduce the correlation penalization between different feature dimensions, leading to the features with lower rank and higher diversity. Experiments show that our method can achieve higher performance on different source-target settings based on a light-weight convolution neural network. The proposed method also sheds light on learning quality assessment measures for unseen application-specific content without the cumbersome and costing subjective evaluations.

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Topics: Feature (computer vision) (55%), Feature vector (55%), Feature extraction (53%) ... show more

2 Citations


Open accessPosted Content
Abstract: Quality scores provide a measure to evaluate the utility of biometric samples for biometric recognition. Biometric recognition systems require high-quality samples to achieve optimal performance. This paper focuses on face images and the measurement of face image utility with general and face-specific image quality metrics. While face-specific metrics rely on features of aligned face images, general image quality metrics can be used on the global image and relate to human perceptions. In this paper, we analyze the gap between the general image quality metrics and the face image quality metrics. Our contribution lies in a thorough examination of how different the image quality assessment algorithms relate to the utility for the face recognition task. The results of image quality assessment algorithms are further compared with those of dedicated face image quality assessment algorithms. In total, 25 different quality metrics are evaluated on three face image databases, BioSecure, LFW, and VGGFace2 using three open-source face recognition solutions, SphereFace, ArcFace, and FaceNet. Our results reveal a clear correlation between learned image metrics to face image utility even without being specifically trained as a face utility measure. Individual handcrafted features lack general stability and perform significantly worse than general face-specific quality metrics. We additionally provide a visual insight into the image areas contributing to the quality score of a selected set of quality assessment methods.

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Topics: Image quality (62%), Facial recognition system (54%), Biometrics (51%)

2 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1145/3468872
YanChenggang1, TengTong1, LiuYutao2, ZhangYongbing3  +2 moreInstitutions (4)
Abstract: The difficulty of no-reference image quality assessment (NR IQA) often lies in the lack of knowledge about the distortion in the image, which makes quality assessment blind and thus inefficient. To...

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Topics: Image quality (63%), Distortion (55%)

2 Citations


References
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55 results found


Open accessProceedings ArticleDOI: 10.1109/CVPR.2016.90
Kaiming He1, Xiangyu Zhang1, Shaoqing Ren1, Jian Sun1Institutions (1)
27 Jun 2016-
Abstract: Deeper neural networks are more difficult to train. We present a residual learning framework to ease the training of networks that are substantially deeper than those used previously. We explicitly reformulate the layers as learning residual functions with reference to the layer inputs, instead of learning unreferenced functions. We provide comprehensive empirical evidence showing that these residual networks are easier to optimize, and can gain accuracy from considerably increased depth. On the ImageNet dataset we evaluate residual nets with a depth of up to 152 layers—8× deeper than VGG nets [40] but still having lower complexity. An ensemble of these residual nets achieves 3.57% error on the ImageNet test set. This result won the 1st place on the ILSVRC 2015 classification task. We also present analysis on CIFAR-10 with 100 and 1000 layers. The depth of representations is of central importance for many visual recognition tasks. Solely due to our extremely deep representations, we obtain a 28% relative improvement on the COCO object detection dataset. Deep residual nets are foundations of our submissions to ILSVRC & COCO 2015 competitions1, where we also won the 1st places on the tasks of ImageNet detection, ImageNet localization, COCO detection, and COCO segmentation.

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Topics: Deep learning (53%), Residual (53%), Convolutional neural network (53%) ... show more

93,356 Citations


Open accessProceedings Article
Diederik P. Kingma1, Jimmy Ba2Institutions (2)
01 Jan 2015-
Abstract: We introduce Adam, an algorithm for first-order gradient-based optimization of stochastic objective functions, based on adaptive estimates of lower-order moments. The method is straightforward to implement, is computationally efficient, has little memory requirements, is invariant to diagonal rescaling of the gradients, and is well suited for problems that are large in terms of data and/or parameters. The method is also appropriate for non-stationary objectives and problems with very noisy and/or sparse gradients. The hyper-parameters have intuitive interpretations and typically require little tuning. Some connections to related algorithms, on which Adam was inspired, are discussed. We also analyze the theoretical convergence properties of the algorithm and provide a regret bound on the convergence rate that is comparable to the best known results under the online convex optimization framework. Empirical results demonstrate that Adam works well in practice and compares favorably to other stochastic optimization methods. Finally, we discuss AdaMax, a variant of Adam based on the infinity norm.

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Topics: Stochastic optimization (63%), Convex optimization (54%), Rate of convergence (52%) ... show more

78,539 Citations


Proceedings ArticleDOI: 10.1109/CVPR.2009.5206848
Jia Deng1, Wei Dong1, Richard Socher1, Li-Jia Li1  +2 moreInstitutions (1)
20 Jun 2009-
Abstract: The explosion of image data on the Internet has the potential to foster more sophisticated and robust models and algorithms to index, retrieve, organize and interact with images and multimedia data. But exactly how such data can be harnessed and organized remains a critical problem. We introduce here a new database called “ImageNet”, a large-scale ontology of images built upon the backbone of the WordNet structure. ImageNet aims to populate the majority of the 80,000 synsets of WordNet with an average of 500-1000 clean and full resolution images. This will result in tens of millions of annotated images organized by the semantic hierarchy of WordNet. This paper offers a detailed analysis of ImageNet in its current state: 12 subtrees with 5247 synsets and 3.2 million images in total. We show that ImageNet is much larger in scale and diversity and much more accurate than the current image datasets. Constructing such a large-scale database is a challenging task. We describe the data collection scheme with Amazon Mechanical Turk. Lastly, we illustrate the usefulness of ImageNet through three simple applications in object recognition, image classification and automatic object clustering. We hope that the scale, accuracy, diversity and hierarchical structure of ImageNet can offer unparalleled opportunities to researchers in the computer vision community and beyond.

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Topics: WordNet (57%), Image retrieval (54%)

31,274 Citations


Open accessProceedings Article
Sergey Ioffe1, Christian Szegedy1Institutions (1)
06 Jul 2015-
Abstract: Training Deep Neural Networks is complicated by the fact that the distribution of each layer's inputs changes during training, as the parameters of the previous layers change. This slows down the training by requiring lower learning rates and careful parameter initialization, and makes it notoriously hard to train models with saturating nonlinearities. We refer to this phenomenon as internal covariate shift, and address the problem by normalizing layer inputs. Our method draws its strength from making normalization a part of the model architecture and performing the normalization for each training mini-batch. Batch Normalization allows us to use much higher learning rates and be less careful about initialization, and in some cases eliminates the need for Dropout. Applied to a state-of-the-art image classification model, Batch Normalization achieves the same accuracy with 14 times fewer training steps, and beats the original model by a significant margin. Using an ensemble of batch-normalized networks, we improve upon the best published result on ImageNet classification: reaching 4.82% top-5 test error, exceeding the accuracy of human raters.

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23,723 Citations


Open accessProceedings ArticleDOI: 10.1109/CVPR.2016.308
27 Jun 2016-
Abstract: Convolutional networks are at the core of most state of-the-art computer vision solutions for a wide variety of tasks. Since 2014 very deep convolutional networks started to become mainstream, yielding substantial gains in various benchmarks. Although increased model size and computational cost tend to translate to immediate quality gains for most tasks (as long as enough labeled data is provided for training), computational efficiency and low parameter count are still enabling factors for various use cases such as mobile vision and big-data scenarios. Here we are exploring ways to scale up networks in ways that aim at utilizing the added computation as efficiently as possible by suitably factorized convolutions and aggressive regularization. We benchmark our methods on the ILSVRC 2012 classification challenge validation set demonstrate substantial gains over the state of the art: 21:2% top-1 and 5:6% top-5 error for single frame evaluation using a network with a computational cost of 5 billion multiply-adds per inference and with using less than 25 million parameters. With an ensemble of 4 models and multi-crop evaluation, we report 3:5% top-5 error and 17:3% top-1 error on the validation set and 3:6% top-5 error on the official test set.

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Topics: Test set (51%)

12,684 Citations


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