A Computational Approach to Relative Aesthetics

Parag S. Chandakkar, Vijetha Gattupalli, Baoxin Li

Computational visual aesthetics has recently become an active research area. Existing state-of-art methods formulate this as a binary classification task where a given image is predicted to be beautiful or not. In many applications such as image retrieval and enhancement, it is more important to rank images based on their aesthetic quality instead of binary-categorizing them. Furthermore, in such applications, it may be possible that all images belong to the same category. Hence determining the aesthetic ranking of the images is more appropriate. To this end, we formulate a novel problem of ranking images with respect to their aesthetic quality. We construct a new dataset of image pairs with relative labels by carefully selecting images from the popular AVA dataset. Unlike in aesthetics classification, there is no single threshold which would determine the ranking order of the images across our entire dataset. We propose a deep neural network based approach that is trained on image pairs by incorporating principles from relative learning. Results show that such relative training procedure allows our network to rank the images with a higher accuracy than a state-of-art network trained on the same set of images using binary labels.

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