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How close are we to understanding image-based saliency?

09/26/2014
by   Matthias Kümmerer, et al.
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Within the set of the many complex factors driving gaze placement, the properities of an image that are associated with fixations under free viewing conditions have been studied extensively. There is a general impression that the field is close to understanding this particular association. Here we frame saliency models probabilistically as point processes, allowing the calculation of log-likelihoods and bringing saliency evaluation into the domain of information. We compared the information gain of state-of-the-art models to a gold standard and find that only one third of the explainable spatial information is captured. We additionally provide a principled method to show where and how models fail to capture information in the fixations. Thus, contrary to previous assertions, purely spatial saliency remains a significant challenge.

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