SPIE’s 46th Annual Meeting, Proc. SPIE, Application of Digital Image Proce. XXIV, July-Aug. 2001


Foveated Wavelet Image Quality Index

 Zhou Wang1, Alan C. Bovik1, Ligang Lu2 and Jack Kouloheris2

1 Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1084

2 IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

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Abstract: The human visual system (HVS) is highly non-uniform in sampling, coding, processing and understanding. The spatial resolution of the HVS is highest around the point of fixation (foveation point) and decreases rapidly with increasing eccentricity. Currently, most image quality measurement methods are designed for uniform resolution images. These methods do not correlate well with the perceived foveated image quality. Wavelet analysis delivers a convenient way to simultaneously examine localized spatial as well as frequency information. We developed a new image quality metric called foveated wavelet image quality index (FWQI) in the wavelet transform domain. FWQI considers multiple factors of the HVS, including the space variance of the contrast sensitivity function, the spatial variance of the local visual cut-off frequency, the variance of human visual sensitivity in different wavelet subbands, and the influence of the viewing distance on the display resolution and the HVS features. FWQI can be employed for foveated region of interest (ROI) image coding and quality enhancement. We show its effectiveness by using it as a guide for optimal bit assignment of an embedded foveated image coding system. The coding system demonstrates very good coding performance and scalability in terms of foveated objective as well as subjective quality measurement.

Keywords: image quality assessment, human visual system (HVS), foveation, wavelet, image coding