Saliency, Scale and Information: Towards a Unifying Theory

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Shafin Rahman, Neil Bruce


In this paper we present a definition for visual saliency grounded in information theory. This proposal is shown to relate to a variety of classic research contributions in scale-space theory, interest point detection, bilateral filtering, and to existing models of visual saliency. Based on the proposed definition of visual saliency, we demonstrate results competitive with the state-of-the art for both prediction of human fixations, and segmentation of salient objects. We also characterize different properties of this model including robustness to image transformations, and extension to a wide range of other data types with 3D mesh models serving as an example. Finally, we relate this proposal more generally to the role of saliency computation in visual information processing and draw connections to putative mechanisms for saliency computation in human vision.