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17 January 2006 What do users really perceive: probing the subjective image quality
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Image evaluation schemes must fulfill both objective and subjective requirements. Objective image quality evaluation models are often preferred over subjective quality evaluation, because of their fastness and cost-effectiveness. However, the correlation between subjective and objective estimations is often poor. One of the key reasons for this is that it is not known what image features subjects use when they evaluate image quality. We have studied subjective image quality evaluation in the case of image sharpness. We used an Interpretation-based Quality (IBQ) approach, which combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches to probe the observer's quality experience. Here we examine how naive subjects experienced and classified natural images, whose sharpness was changing. Together the psychometric and qualitative information obtained allows the correlation of quantitative evaluation data with its underlying subjective attribute sets. This offers guidelines to product designers and developers who are responsible for image quality. Combining these methods makes the end-user experience approachable and offers new ways to improve objective image quality evaluation schemes.
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Göte Nyman, Jenni Radun, Tuomas Leisti, Joni Oja, Harri Ojanen, Jean-Luc Olives, Tero Vuori, and Jukka Häkkinen "What do users really perceive: probing the subjective image quality", Proc. SPIE 6059, Image Quality and System Performance III, 605902 (17 January 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.641612;

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