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DeepRare: Generic Unsupervised Visual Attention Models

by   Phutphalla Kong, et al.
University of Mons

Human visual system is modeled in engineering field providing feature-engineered methods which detect contrasted/surprising/unusual data into images. This data is "interesting" for humans and leads to numerous applications. Deep learning (DNNs) drastically improved the algorithms efficiency on the main benchmark datasets. However, DNN-based models are counter-intuitive: surprising or unusual data is by definition difficult to learn because of its low occurrence probability. In reality, DNN-based models mainly learn top-down features such as faces, text, people, or animals which usually attract human attention, but they have low efficiency in extracting surprising or unusual data in the images. In this paper, we propose a new visual attention model called DeepRare2021 (DR21) which uses the power of DNNs feature extraction and the genericity of feature-engineered algorithms. This algorithm is an evolution of a previous version called DeepRare2019 (DR19) based on a common framework. DR21 1) does not need any training and uses the default ImageNet training, 2) is fast even on CPU, 3) is tested on four very different eye-tracking datasets showing that the DR21 is generic and is always in the within the top models on all datasets and metrics while no other model exhibits such a regularity and genericity. Finally DR21 4) is tested with several network architectures such as VGG16 (V16), VGG19 (V19) and MobileNetV2 (MN2) and 5) it provides explanation and transparency on which parts of the image are the most surprising at different levels despite the use of a DNN-based feature extractor. DeepRare2021 code can be found at


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