AAAI Publications, Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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An Object-Based Bayesian Framework for Top-Down Visual Attention
Ali Borji, Dicky N. Sihite, Laurent Itti

Last modified: 2012-07-14


We introduce a new task-independent framework to model top-down overt visual attention based on graph-ical models for probabilistic inference and reasoning. We describe a Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) that infers probability distributions over attended objects and spatial locations directly from observed data. Probabilistic inference in our model is performed over object-related functions which are fed from manual annotations of objects in video scenes or by state-of-the-art object detection models. Evaluating over ∼3 hours (appx. 315,000 eye fixations and 12,600 saccades) of observers playing 3 video games (time-scheduling, driving, and flight combat), we show that our approach is significantly more predictive of eye fixations compared to: 1) simpler classifier-based models also developed here that map a signature of a scene (multi-modal information from gist, bottom-up saliency, physical actions, and events) to eye positions, 2) 14 state-of-the-art bottom-up saliency models, and 3) brute-force algorithms such as mean eye position. Our results show that the proposed model is more effective in employing and reasoning over spatio-temporal visual data.


top-down attention, visual attention, eye movements, bottom-up saliency, free viewing, visual search, object-based attention, space-based attention, model-based analysis

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