Automatic and Quantitative evaluation of attribute discovery methods

5 Feb 2016  ·  Liangchen Liu, Arnold Wiliem, Shaokang Chen, Brian C. Lovell ·

Many automatic attribute discovery methods have been developed to extract a set of visual attributes from images for various tasks. However, despite good performance in some image classification tasks, it is difficult to evaluate whether these methods discover meaningful attributes and which one is the best to find the attributes for image descriptions. An intuitive way to evaluate this is to manually verify whether consistent identifiable visual concepts exist to distinguish between positive and negative images of an attribute. This manual checking is tedious, labor intensive and expensive and it is very hard to get quantitative comparisons between different methods. In this work, we tackle this problem by proposing an attribute meaningfulness metric, that can perform automatic evaluation on the meaningfulness of attribute sets as well as achieving quantitative comparisons. We apply our proposed metric to recent automatic attribute discovery methods and popular hashing methods on three attribute datasets. A user study is also conducted to validate the effectiveness of the metric. In our evaluation, we gleaned some insights that could be beneficial in developing automatic attribute discovery methods to generate meaningful attributes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to quantitatively measure the semantic content of automatically discovered attributes.

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