No-reference image quality assessment using statistical characterization in the shearlet domain

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-759
Journal / PublicationSignal Processing: Image Communication
Issue number7
Online published11 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


Image and video quality measurements are crucial for many applications, such as acquisition, compression, transmission, enhancement, and reproduction. Nowadays, no-reference (NR) image quality assessment (IQA) methods have drawn extensive attention because it does not rely on any information of original images. However, most of the conventional NR-IQA methods are designed only for one or a set of predefined specific image distortion types, which are unlikely to generalize for evaluating image/video distorted with other types of distortions. In order to estimate a wide range of image distortions, in this paper, we present an efficient general-purpose NR-IQA algorithm which is based on a new multiscale directional transform (shearlet transform) with a strong ability to localize distributed discontinuities. This is mainly based on distorted natural image that leads to significant variation in the spread discontinuities in all directions. Thus, the statistical property of the distorted image is significantly different from that of natural images in fine scale shearlet coefficients, which are referred to as 'distorted parts'. However, some 'natural parts' are reserved in coarse scale shearlet coefficients. The algorithm relies on utilizing the natural parts to predict the natural behavior of distorted parts. The predicted parts act as 'reference' and the difference between the reference and distorted parts is used as an indicator to predict the image quality. In order to achieve this goal, we modify the general sparse autoencoder to serve as a predictor to get the predicted parts from natural parts. By translating the NR-IQA problem into classification problem, the predicted parts and distorted parts are utilized to form features and the differences between them are identified by softmax classifier. The resulting algorithm, which we name SHeArlet based No-reference Image quality Assessment (SHANIA), is tested on several database (LIVE, Multiply Distorted LIVE and TID2008) and shown to be suitable for many common distortions, consistent with subjective assessment and comparable to full-reference IQA methods and state-of-the-art general purpose NR-IQA algorithms. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • No-reference image quality assessment, Shearlet transform, Softmax classification, Sparse autoencoder