Learning from Synthetic Data for Opinion-free Blind Image Quality Assessment in the Wild

by   Zhihua Wang, et al.

Nowadays, most existing blind image quality assessment (BIQA) models 1) are developed for synthetically-distorted images and often generalize poorly to authentic ones; 2) heavily rely on human ratings, which are prohibitively labor-expensive to collect. Here, we propose an opinion-free BIQA method that learns from synthetically-distorted images and multiple agents to assess the perceptual quality of authentically-distorted ones captured in the wild without relying on human labels. Specifically, we first assemble a large number of image pairs from synthetically-distorted images and use a set of full-reference image quality assessment (FR-IQA) models to assign pseudo-binary labels of each pair indicating which image has higher quality as the supervisory signal. We then train a convolutional neural network (CNN)-based BIQA model to rank the perceptual quality, optimized for consistency with the binary labels. Since there exists domain shift between the synthetically- and authentically-distorted images, an unsupervised domain adaptation (UDA) module is introduced to alleviate this issue. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed opinion-free BIQA model, yielding state-of-the-art performance in terms of correlation with human opinion scores, as well as gMAD competition. Codes will be made publicly available upon acceptance.


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