Interactive Media Systems, TU Wien

An Evaluation of Interactive Image Matting Techniques Supported by Eye-Tracking

By Christoph Rhemann, Margrit Gelautz, and Bernhard Foelsner


Recently, the quantitative evaluation of interactive single image matting techniques has become possible by the introduction of high-quality ground truth datasets. However, quantitative comparisons conducted in previous work are based on error metrics (e.g. sum of absolute differences) that are not necessarily correlated to the visual quality of the image as perceived by the user. This motivates research to better understand the perception of errors inherent to matting algorithms, in order to provide the ground for a future design of error metrics that better reflect the subjective impression of the human observer. In this work we gain novel insights into the perception of errors due to imperfect matting results. To investigate these errors, we compare two recent state-of-the-art matting algorithms in a user study. We use an eye-tracker to reveal details of the decision making of the users. The data acquired in the user study show a considerable correlation between expert knowledge in photography and the ability of the user to detect errors in the image. This is also reflected in the eye-tracking data which reveals different types of scanning paths dependent on the experience of the user.


C. Rhemann, M. Gelautz, B. Foelsner: "An Evaluation of Interactive Image Matting Techniques Supported by Eye-Tracking"; Talk: SPIE Electronic Imaging Conference, San Jose, USA; 01-18-2009 - 01-22-2009; in: "SPIE Electronic Imaging 2009", SPIE, 6803-6822 (2009), 9 pages.


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