ViSioNS: Visual Search in Natural Scenes Benchmark

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Datasets and Benchmarks Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Fermín Travi, Gonzalo Ruarte, Gaston Bujia, Juan Esteban Kamienkowski


Visual search is an essential part of almost any everyday human interaction with the visual environment. Nowadays, several algorithms are able to predict gaze positions during simple observation, but few models attempt to simulate human behavior during visual search in natural scenes. Furthermore, these models vary widely in their design and exhibit differences in the datasets and metrics with which they were evaluated. Thus, there is a need for a reference point, on which each model can be tested and from where potential improvements can be derived. In this study, we select publicly available state-of-the-art visual search models and datasets in natural scenes, and provide a common framework for their evaluation. To this end, we apply a unified format and criteria, bridging the gaps between them, and we estimate the models’ efficiency and similarity with humans using a specific set of metrics. This integration has allowed us to enhance the Ideal Bayesian Searcher by combining it with a neural network-based visual search model, which enables it to generalize to other datasets. The present work sheds light on the limitations of current models and how integrating different approaches with a unified criteria can lead to better algorithms. Moreover, it moves forward on bringing forth a solution for the urgent need for benchmarking data and metrics to support the development of more general human visual search computational models. All of the code used here, including metrics, plots, and visual search models, alongside the preprocessed datasets, are available at $\url{}$.