Detecting Rule of Simplicity from Photos

Long Mai, Hoang Le, Yuzhen Niu, Yu-chi Lai, and Feng Liu

Department of Computer Science, Portland State University

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Simplicity refers to one of the most important photography composition rules. Simplicity states that simplifying the image background can draw viewers' attention to the subject of interest in a photograph and help them better comprehend and appreciate it. Understanding whether a photo respects photography rules or not facilitates photo quality assessment. In this paper, we present a method to automatically detect whether a photo is composed according to the rule of simplicity. We design features according to the definition, implementation and effect of the rule. First, we make use of saliency analysis to infer the subject of interest in a photo and measure its compactness. Second, we segment an image into background and foreground and measure the homogeneity within the background as another feature. Third, when looking at an image created with the rule of simplicity, different viewers tend to agree on what the subject of interest is in this photo. We accordingly measure the consistency among various saliency detection results as a feature. We experiment with these features in a range of machine learning methods. Our experiments show that our methods, together with these features, provide an encouraging result in detecting the rule of simplicity in a photo.
Long Mai, Hoang Le, Yuzhen Niu, Yu-chi Lai, and Feng Liu. Detecting Rule of Simplicity from Photos.
ACM Multimedia 2012, Nara, Japan, October 2012. (short paper) PDF
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Rule of Simplicity Image Set