Dynamic visual attention: searching for coding length increments

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)

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Xiaodi Hou, Liqing Zhang


A visual attention system should respond placidly when common stimuli are presented, while at the same time keep alert to anomalous visual inputs. In this paper, a dynamic visual attention model based on the rarity of features is proposed. We introduce the Incremental Coding Length (ICL) to measure the perspective entropy gain of each feature. The objective of our model is to maximize the entropy of the sampled visual features. In order to optimize energy consumption, the limit amount of energy of the system is re-distributed amongst features according to their Incremental Coding Length. By selecting features with large coding length increments, the computational system can achieve attention selectivity in both static and dynamic scenes. We demonstrate that the proposed model achieves superior accuracy in comparison to mainstream approaches in static saliency map generation. Moreover, we also show that our model captures several less-reported dynamic visual search behaviors, such as attentional swing and inhibition of return.