Event Abstract

Mixtures of conditional Gaussian scale mixtures: the best model for natural images

  • 1 Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Germany
  • 2 Graduate School of Neural Information Processing, Germany
  • 3 Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Germany
  • 4 Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Germany

Modeling the statistics of natural images is a common problem in computer vision and computational neuroscience. In computational neuroscience, natural image models are used as a means to understand the input to the visual system as well as the visual system’s internal representations of the visual input.

Here we present a new probabilistic model for images of arbitrary size. Our model is a directed graphical model based on mixtures of Gaussian scale mixtures. Gaussian scale mixtures have been repeatedly shown to be suitable building blocks for capturing the statistics of natural images, but have not been applied in a directed modeling context. Perhaps surprisingly—given the much larger popularity of the undirected Markov random field approach—our directed model yields unprecedented performance when applied to natural images while also being easier to train, sample and evaluate.
Samples from the model look much more natural than samples of other models and capture many long-range higher-order correlations. When trained on dead leave images or textures, the model is able to reproduce many properties of these as well—showing the flexibility of our model. By extending the model to multiscale representations, it is able to reproduce even longer-range correlations.

An important measure to quantify the amount of correlations captured by a model is the average log-likelihood. We evaluate our model as well as several other patch-based and whole-image models and show that it yields the best performance reported to date when measured in bits per pixel. A problem closely related to image modeling is image compression. We show that our model can compete even with some of the best image compression algorithms.

Keywords: natural image statistics

Conference: Bernstein Conference 2012, Munich, Germany, 12 Sep - 14 Sep, 2012.

Presentation Type: Poster

Topic: Other

Citation: Theis LM, Hosseini R and Bethge M (2012). Mixtures of conditional Gaussian scale mixtures: the best model for natural images. Front. Comput. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: Bernstein Conference 2012. doi: 10.3389/conf.fncom.2012.55.00079

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Received: 22 May 2012; Published Online: 12 Sep 2012.

* Correspondence: Mr. Lucas M Theis, Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Tübingen, Germany, lucas@tuebingen.mpg.de