Thesis Proposal: Uejima Takeshi

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Title: A Unified Visual Saliency Model for Neuromorphic Implementation

Abstract: Human eyes capture and send large amounts of data from the environment to the brain. However, the visual cortex cannot process all the information in detail at once. To deal with the overwhelming quantity of the input, the early stages of visual processing select a small subset of the input for detailed processing. Because only the fovea has high resolution imaging, the observer needs to move the eyeballs for thorough scene inspection. Therefore, eye movements can be thought as one of the observable outputs of the early visual process in the brain, which represents what is interesting and important for the observer. Modeling how the brain selects important information, and where humans fixate, is an intriguing research topic in neuroscience and computer vision and is generally referred to as visual saliency modeling. Beyond its grave scientific ramifications, a better understanding of this process will improve the effectiveness of graphic arts, advertisements, traffic signs, camouflage and many other applications.

To date, there has been some studies on developing bioinspired saliency models. Russell et al. proposed a biologically plausible visual saliency model called proto-object based saliency model. It has shown successful result to predict human fixation; however, it exclusively works on low-level features; intensity, color, and orientation. Russell et al. model has been extended by addition of a motion channel as well as a disparity (depth) channel. Texture feature, however, has neither been well studied in the visual saliency field, nor been incorporated into a proto-object based model. And no attempt has been made to combine all of these features in one model. Here, we propose an augmented version of the model that incorporates texture, motion, and disparity features.

In addition to designing the unified proto-object based model, we investigate rationality of the visual process in biological system from the viewpoint of efficiency to represent natural stimuli. This study will advance visual saliency modeling and improve the accuracy of human fixation prediction. In addition, it will deepen our knowledge on how the visual cortex deals with complex environment.

Committee Members:

Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Andreas Andreou, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Philippe Pouliquen, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

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