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With the growing use of smart cellular devices for entertainment purposes, audio and video streaming services now offer an increasingly wide variety of popular mobile applications that offer portable and accessible ways to consume content. The user interfaces of these applications have become increasingly visual in nature, and are commonly loaded with dense multimedia content such as thumbnail images, animated GIFs, and short videos. To efficiently render these and to aid rapid download to the client display, it is necessary to compress, scale and color subsample them. These operations introduce distortions, reducing the appeal of the application. It is desirable to be able to automatically monitor and govern the visual qualities of these small images, which are usually small images. However, while there exists a variety of high-performing image quality assessment (IQA) algorithms, none have been designed for this particular use case. This kind of content often has unique characteristics, such as overlaid graphics, intentional brightness, gradients, text, and warping. We describe a study we conducted on the subjective and objective quality of images embedded in the displayed user interfaces of mobile streaming applications. We created a database of typical "billboard" and "thumbnail" images viewed on such services. Using the collected data, we studied the effects of compression, scaling and chroma-subsampling on perceived quality by conducting a subjective study. We also evaluated the performance of leading picture quality prediction models on the new database. We report some surprising results regarding algorithm performance, and find that there remains ample scope for future model development.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: IEEE transactions on image processing : a publication of the IEEE Signal Processing Society
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