An eye fixation database for saliency detection in images

Subramanian Ramanathan, Harish Katti, Nicu Sebe, Mohan Kankanhalli, Tat Seng Chua

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


To learn the preferential visual attention given by humans to specific image content, we present NUSEF- an eye fixation database compiled from a pool of 758 images and 75 subjects. Eye fixations are an excellent modality to learn semantics-driven human understanding of images, which is vastly different from feature-driven approaches employed by saliency computation algorithms. The database comprises fixation patterns acquired using an eye-tracker, as subjects free-viewed images corresponding to many semantic categories such as faces (human and mammal), nudes and actions (look, read and shoot). The consistent presence of fixation clusters around specific image regions confirms that visual attention is not subjective, but is directed towards salient objects and object-interactions. We then show how the fixation clusters can be exploited for enhancing image understanding, by using our eye fixation database in an active image segmentation application. Apart from proposing a mechanism to automatically determine characteristic fixation seeds for segmentation, we show that the use of fixation seeds generated from multiple fixation clusters on the salient object can lead to a 10% improvement in segmentation performance over the state-of-the-art.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Vision, ECCV 2010 - 11th European Conference on Computer Vision, Proceedings
EditorsKostas Daniilidis, Petros Marago, Nikos Paragios
Place of PublicationGermany
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783642155604
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event11th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2010 - Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Duration: 10 Sept 201011 Sept 2010

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
NumberPART 4
Volume6314 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference11th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2010
CityHeraklion, Crete


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