Barten P G J, 1997, "Fundamental comparison of image quality metrics" Perception 26 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Fundamental comparison of image quality metrics
P G J Barten
In most image quality metrics (eg MTFA, ICS, SQF, DDD, SQRI) use is made of the modulation transfer function (MTF) of the imaging system and the contrast sensitivity function (CSF) of the human visual system. All metrics usually show a positive correlation with perceived image quality. This does not, however, say much about the correctness of the underlying equations.
Defocusing experiments where an image is defocused by one just-noticeable difference can give information about the contribution of different spatial-frequency ranges to image quality. By performing defocusing experiments with images where contrast is also varied, information can be obtained about the dependence of image quality on contrast.
In our investigation defocusing measurements from Baldwin (1940), Carlson and Cohen (1980) and Watt and Morgan (1983) were used. Comparison of the results with the fundamental dependence of some image quality metrics on spatial frequency and contrast indicates that only the SQRI (square-root integral) showed the right behaviour with respect to these parameters.