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12 April 2002 Effect of image compression for model and human observers in signal-known-statistically tasks
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Previous studies have shown that model observers can be used for automated evaluation and optimization of image compression with respect to human visual performance in a task where the signal does not vary and is known a priori by the observer (signal known exactly, SKE). Here, we extend previous work to two tasks that are intended to more realistically represent the day-to-day visual diagnostic decision in the clinical setting. In the signal known exactly but variable task (SKEV), the signal varies from trial to trial (e.g., size, shape, etc) but is known to the observer. In the signal known statistically task (SKS) the signal varies from trial to trial and the observer does not have knowledge of which signal is present in that trial. We compare SKEV/SKS human and model observer performance detecting simulated arterial filling defects embedded in real coronary angiographic backgrounds in images that have undergone different amounts of JPEG and JPEG 2000 image compression. Our results show that both human and model performance at low compression ratios is better for the JPEG algorithm than the JPEG 2000 algorithm. Metrics of image quality such as the root mean square error (or the related peak signal to noise ratio) incorrectly predict a JPEG 2000 superiority. Results also show that although model and to a lesser extent human performance improves with the trial to trial knowledge of the signal present (SKEV vs. SKS task), conclusions about which compression algorithm is better (JPEG vs. JPEG 2000) for the current task would not change whether one used an SKEV or SKS task. These findings might suggest that the computationally more tractable SKEV models could be used as a good first approximation for automated evaluation of the more clinically realistic SKS task.
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Miguel P. Eckstein, Binh Pham, and Craig K. Abbey "Effect of image compression for model and human observers in signal-known-statistically tasks", Proc. SPIE 4686, Medical Imaging 2002: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, (12 April 2002);

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