Technical Report Number
Two experiments for evaluating psychophysical distortion metrics for JPEG-encoded images are described. The first is a threshold experiment, in which subjects determined the bit rate or level of distortion at which distortion was just noticeable. The second is a suprathreshold experiment in which subjects ranked image blocks according to perceived distortion. The results of these experiments were used to determine the predictive value of a number of computer image distortion metrics. It was found that mean-square-error is not a good predictor of distortion thresholds or suprathreshold perceived distortion. Some simple pointwise measures were in good agreement with psychophysical data; other more computationally intensive metrics involving spatial properties of the human visual system gave mixed results. It was determined that mean intensity, which is not accounted for in the JPEG algorithm, plays a significant role in perceived distortion.
Fuhrmann, Daniel R.; Baro, John A.; and Cox, Jerome R. Jr., "Experimental Evaluation of Psychophysical Distortion Metrics for JPEG-Encoded Images" Report Number: WUCS-93-41 (1993). All Computer Science and Engineering Research.